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Time to start GoBiGas 1

At the end of 2013, Göteborg Energi fired up its unique demonstration plant GoBiGas 1, producing biomethane from wood. The next step is to prove that the technology works in practice, and to convince the politicians to introduce incentives that are needed to create a sustainable economy, and to guarantee a continuation on a larger scale.

At the end of 2013, Göteborg Energi fired up GoBiGas 1, a unique biomass gasification demonstration plant to produce biomethane from woody biomass.

At the end of 2013, Göteborg Energi fired up GoBiGas 1, a unique biomass gasification demonstration plant to produce biomethane from woody biomass.

The new gasification unit is located in the Gothenburg Rya harbour,_ and during the construction phase in the winter and spring of 2013, some 400 people were engaged at the building site. This first stage of the GoBiGas project has a capacity of 20 MW and the investment cost is SEK 1.5 billion (≈ US$230 million). Göteborg Energi, a public utility owned by the city of Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-largest city, plans to build a second stage, with 4 – 5 times higher capacity, or 80 – 100 MW.

A unique concept

The purpose of the GoBiGas project is to show, with a unique concept, that is it possible to use forest residues to produce biomethane and feed the gas into the gas grid for use as a transport fuel, or for electricity and heat production. The aim of the demonstration plant in stage 1 is to show that the technical solutions function with the targeted production, and be the basis for an upcoming decision to go ahead with a full commercial size plant.

Forest fuels

As a fuel, Göteborg Energi will use forestry residues, tops- and branches, harvested at felling sites within a distance of 100 – 150 km from the city. The biomass will be gasified with an indirect gasification gasifier process to syngas. This is mainly composed of hydrogen (H2), carbon monoxide (CO) and 10 percent methane (CH4).

The syngas will be purified in several steps, removing tars and sulphur (S) along with water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The target is that 65 percent of the energy content of the feedstock will be converted to biomethane with an efficiency above 90 percent.

The next step

GoBiGas stage 2 is one of 23 European renewable energy projects selected for support under the NER300 programme. It means that Göteborg Energi can be part of an investment support scheme for new energy technologies with a total budget of EUR 1.2 billion. GoBiGas 2 has been granted EUR 50 million or EUR 20 EUR per MWh from the programme. The requirement from the EU is that the project is up and running at the latest by 31 December 2016.

For a positive decision to go ahead with stage 2 there are two conditions. Firstly proof of concept, that the technology works as intended. Secondly that the conditions are in place for a commercially sound investment, there needs to be clarity about governmental support or long-term incentives in place for the production of renewable fuels.

There needs to be clarity about governmental support or long term incentives in place for production of renewable fuels, said Åsa Burman, CEO, Göteborg Energi.

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Main technology suppliers

Metso Power

Delivers the gasification unit in cooperation with Repotec. Metso Power’s delivery is based on a partner contract with Göteborg Energi, to make mutual benefit from the project.

Repotec

Responsible for the technical design of the gasification equipment based on a license contract with Metso Power. The technology is 4 times up-scaled version of the solution used by the company in Austrian Güssing.

Haldor Topsoe

For methanisation and gasification equipment the project chose Haldor Topsoe, a Danish company focussing on chemical and process technologies. The company will also deliver catalysers to the reactors.

Jacobs Process

An American/Dutch company that is taking the technology to a complete system with supporting systems and buildings. The cooperation is based on EPCM contract, and personnel from Gothenburg have worked closely with Jacobs in Leyden, the Netherlands.

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