Press release - 5 August 2019

Bioenergy Retrofits for Europe’s Industry – Kick-off meeting for the Kakanj and Tuzla case studies

BIOFIT (www.biofit-h2020.eu) is an EU project that aims to facilitate the introduction of bioenergy retrofitting in Europe’s industry. In early July, two more BIOFIT case studies related to the retrofitting of Tuzla and Kakanj power plants in Bosnia-Herzegovina officially started with a site-visit and a kick-off meeting.

Retrofitting is one of the fast ways to increase Europe’s renewable energy share by making the energy production of existing industries more sustainable. Retrofitting means often lower capital costs, shorter lead times, faster implementation, less production time losses and lower risks.

The BIOFIT project will – during its 3-year duration - facilitate the introduction of bioenergy retrofitting in five specific industrial sectors, namely first-generation biofuels, pulp and paper, fossil refineries, fossil firing power and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants. Part of the project is the development of ten concrete case studies. In these case studies, the technical, economic, market, and environmental feasibility of an actual retrofit opportunity will be evaluated. A number of BIOFIT case studies have already started in late June 2019 with a kick-off meeting in Vienna, Austria.

On 10-11 July 2019, Elektroprivreda BiH hosted a delegation of BIOFIT project partners in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in order to officially start the activities of two further case studies of BIOFIT, related to two of its thermal power plants:  

  • Kakanj. The activities will focus on the full biomass repowering of Unit 5 (118 MWe), which also supplies heat to the local district heating network. Locally available woody biomass resources will be considered for displacing the brown coal currently used as fuel.
  • Tuzla. The activities will focus on Unit 6 (223 MWe) and the expected retrofitting pathway is co-firing with various local biomass resources (e.g. sawdust, agricultural residues, energy crops grown in reclaimed mining areas, etc.) in order to substitute up to 30 % (mass basis) of the brown coal currently used as fuel.

The BIOFIT project partners that participate in the Tuzla and Kakanj power plants case studies are the following:

  • JP Elektroprivreda BiH d.d.-Sarajevo – EPBiH (Bosnia and Herzegovina), as case study owner and operator of the Tuzla and Kakanj power plants.
  • Centre for Research & Technology Hellas – CERTH (Greece), as case study team leader, expert of fossil power sector and responsible for the environmental assessment.
  • BTG Biomass Technology Group BV – BTG (Netherlands), for the techno-economic assessment.
  • BIOENERGY 2020+ – BE2020 (Austria), for the biomass supply chain assessment.

During the visit, representatives from the partners above had the chance to visit both the Kakanj and Tuzla power plants in order to see first-hand the fuel handling facilities, the power production equipment as well as to speak directly with the plant operators on the challenges and opportunities of bioenergy retrofitting. On the following day, Electropriveda BiH hosted a meeting in its headquarters in Sarajevo, during which further and more detailed aspects of the two case studies were discussed.

The BIOFIT project welcomes this successful kick-off meeting; the Kakanj and Tuzla case studies are expected not only to yield positive results on the merits of bioenergy retrofitting, but also to serve as powerful imitation examples for other industries and stakeholders in the whole Western Balkans area.

The BIOFIT consortium consists of fourteen partners from eight European countries: Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Finland, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece. The consortium consists of both industrial partners and academic / research partners.

Anes Kazagic (company representative), Electropriveda BiH, Email: a.kazagic@epbih.ba
Manolis Karampinis (case study team leader), Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Email: karampinis@certh.gr
Patrick Reumerman (BIOFIT coordinator), BTG Biomass Technology Group BV, Email: Reumerman@btgworld.com

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