ENERGY33 Completes Engineering & Development of a 5.5 MW Biomass Project in Colombia
By: ENERGY33 LLC
While Colombia is one of the world's cleanest energy producers, it is heavily concentrated in hydroelectricity (69%). This high dependence on water resources for power generation makes the Colombian electricity system vulnerable to weather variability, such as the El Niño phenomenon, which can produce drought for extended periods.
Since Colombia does not have an abundance of natural gas, these biomass projects provide "Green Firm Energy" that cannot be provided by other clean energy sources such as wind and solar. Biomass power plants have annual availability factors of 85% or more, compared to solar and wind that have availability factors ranging from 20% to 50%. This means that the utility and its customers can rely on the power generated from this plant, which is not always possible with wind and solar plants. Another advantage of this project is that the carbon emitted from the burning of the biomass mix will be captured by the trees in the sustainable forest during the photosynthesis process. The forests are sustainable because the trees are planted specifically for these projects and are replanted every three years after they are harvested.
For the Puerto Carreño project, ENERGY33 was responsible for the conceptual engineering, preparation and management of the bid process, negotiation of the EPC contract, support for the bank financing and acted as owner's engineer during the construction of the power plant. According to Carlos Andres Lopez, the President of Refocosta, "ENERGY33 was an essential partner in the development and implementation of this project. ENERGY33 was able to perform the conceptual engineering, specify the equipment and created a competitive bidding process that reduced the EPC investment by millions of US dollars. In addition, it played an important role as the owner's engineer during the construction phase of the project."
Jose Benitez, EVP of Engineering responsible for the conceptual engineering of the project stated, "We are very proud to work with great partners like Refoenergy, a world class sustainable forestry management company and biomass power producer in Colombia, to support their development of biomass electricity projects that produce positive environmental impact to the power sector in Colombia."
ENERGY33 specializes in the development of energy projects in Latin America using co-generation, biomass, associated gas and other forms of clean power generation and offers engineering and consulting services in the energy sector with its world class technical expertise. For more information, go to www.energy33.com.
Refoenergy is a subsidiary of Refocosta, a Grupo Valorem company. Refocosta is one of the largest companies in the forestry sector in Colombia. It offers forestry management services, environmental impact mitigation services and recently structured its renewable energy unit Refoenergy. Refocosta is a company with more than 600 employees and 40 years of experience in forestry, industrial and environmental activities, dedicated to the establishment of plantations, transformation, and commercialization of wood products in the national and international market.