GE Energy Jenbacher CHP Plant utilizes waste gas from Spanish steel factory


GE Energy's Jenbacher gas engines have now operated for more than one year at one of the world's first cogeneration power plants to utilize waste gas generated by the production of steel.

The power plant consists of 12 Jenbacher units with a total power output of 20.4 megawatts (MW) and is located within the Aceralia factory in Avilés, Spain.

Commissioning of GE's first commercial converter gas plant was completed in September 2004. Through the end of September 2005, the 12 engines had operated at Aceralia's steel plant for a total of 98,050 operating hours.

Based on its positive prior experience with Jenbacher gas engines, GENESA (Generaciones Especiales I, S.L.), which is part of the HC Energía Group (previously HidroCantábrico), proposed the installation of Jenbacher engines to Aceralia, as a solution for utilizing Aceralia's waste gas. Aceralia is part of Arcelor S.A. of Luxembourg - the world's largest steel producer, that was created by the merger of the companies Aceralia, Arbed and Usinor.

By initially investing in the installation of a Jenbacher test engine, GENESA made it possible to develop this plant, which is one of GE Energy's largest gas engine projects in Europe. GE Energy supplied 12 of its 1.7 megawatt, JMS 620 GS-S/N.LC cogeneration modules to Sidergás Energía - a company founded by GENESA for the development of the project. The plant utilizes LD gas - which is the waste gas produced in the Linz Donawitz (LD)steel manufacturing process - to generate electricity and steam. The electricity produced by the Jenbacher gas engines is sold to the public power grid. The steam generated from the exhaust gas is used in the steel production process of Aceralia and meets a significant portion of Aceralia's steam requirement.

Jenbacher gas engines were chosen, in part, due to their ability to burn the toxic and residual LD gas both safely and efficiently.Through the highly-efficient utilization of this low-calorific value gas for power generation, other fossil energy resources can be preserved. This project keeps the plant's NOx emissions below 500 mg/Nm3 (reference: at 5% O2). Therefore, in addition to the benefits of an independent power source, this new class of power plants can provide significant environmental benefits.

Apart from the engines, the Jenbacher team supplied the nitrogen-scavenging system, relief valves, catalytic converter and a range of service, including - commissioning, operator training and maintenance for engines.

GE Energy's gas engine business has a long history in Spain and Portugal, where approximately 500 of Jenbacher's 5,000-plus engines are in operation. The business is a leader in the use of special gases, such as residual gases or gases from batteries used in coke production.

Jenbacher gas engines range in outputs of 0.25 to 3 MW and are equipped with patented combustion systems, engine controls and monitoring technology - allowing them to meet all relevant international emission standards, while offering high levels of efficiency, durability and reliability. GE's Jenbacher gas engine operations are based in Jenbach, Austria.