Alteo’s power plant in Mauritius to be in compliance with NEC norms
Mauritian conglomerate Alteo is proposing to set up a thermal power plant producing more than 50% energy from biomass, which is completely in line with the 2013 recommendations of the National Energy Commission on how green power production can be doubled by focusing on biomass.
Mauritian conglomerate Alteo is proposing to set up a thermal power plant that will generate more than 50% of its energy from biomass, which is targeted to be completed by 2018, over the horizon of the Power Purchase Agreement.
This project is completely in-line with the 2013 recommendations of the
National Energy Commission which highlighted that the potential of green and renewable energy of existing power plants must be optimised through much more efficient and environment-friendly methods.
Accordingly, Alteo has suggested maximizing the use of biomass, produced by its sugar refinery, Alteo Milling, by replacing two existing power plants located at Union Flacq and Deep River Beau Champ, with a new power plant of 90MW which will allow doubling of the renewable power production. The capacity will increase from 100 GWh to 210 GWh.
In 1984, Alteo set up the very first bagasse-coal power plant in the world. To date, the group owns and operates two power plants – Alteo Energy Limited (AEL) at Union Flacq, and Consolidated Energy Limited (CEL) at Deep River Beau Champ.
Alteo contributes 12-13% to the CEB’s electricity network by using bagasse and coal as fuels.
“Upon expiration of the Power Purchase Agreement of CEL in July, 2015, we had planned to move the CEL power plant to Africa. However, the CEB requested us to continue with our operations until December, 2018, to meet the short-term needs of the national network. It was thus only a temporary respite while we waited for a more permanent solution,” noted Patrick d’ Arifat, CEO, Alteo.
“Besides, the Power Purchase Agreement of AEL at Union Flacq will draw to a close in 2018. To replace these two power plants, and to be in line with the NEC norms, the group has proposed a project to double green power production by focusing on biomass,” he added.
This power plant is not at all a replacement for the thermal power project of CT Power, the CEO hastens to add.
“The group presented a draft to the authorities to explain its approach but no process of negotiation has been engaged in, at this stage, and no requests for EIA have been made to this day,” he emphasised.
“This project comes as a replacement for the existing capacity of AEL and CEL and is the only feasible way to optimize the use of bagasse and biomass because other bagasse/coal based power plants are already equipped with the latest energy-efficient installations. Our project at Union Flacq has, so to speak, no real competitor in its category and offers the most advanced solution if we want to produce more green energy,” explains Patrick d’ Arifat.
Through the installation of much more responsive equipment, which meets European Environmental Standards, this project aims to considerably increase the total production of electrical energy.
It may be noted that this project produces twice as much green energy as is generated currently, and that by using 500,000 tons of biomass, which would be the fuel for more than 50% of the energy production. It also reduces 75% of sulphur emissions and 50% of nitrogen and particulate emissions.
Finally, a reduction of 15% in coal consumption, that is from 160,000 to 140,000 tons, will also be achieved, allowing the country to surpass the 20% threshold of green energy utilisation, and enable Mauritius to meet the global trend of an average green energy mix of 20%-30% in total energy consumption.
Alteo was listed on the official market of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius on 31 July 2012 as an investment company.
The group operates in various activities such as sugar cane growing, sugar milling, energy production, property development and hospitality, and counts 4400 employees in companies operating in Mauritius and Africa.