Sonelgaz CEO, Visits Calvert Landfill Gas Power Plant

As part of a programme meeting organised by the British Embassy in Algiers, a delegation chaired by Noureddine Boutarfa and composed of seven executive members from Sonelgaz was able to visit Calvert landfill gas power plant built by Clarke Energy at the Calvert Landfill in Northamptonshire. The plant is owned and operated by Infinis, a portfolio business of Terra Firma.

Sonelgaz (Socièté Nationale de l’Electricité et du Gaz), National Society for Electricity and Gas is the public utility in Algeria that is responsible for gas and electricity distribution.

This power plant, designed and built by Clarke Energy, has an installed capacity of 14 MWe. Based on GE Jenbacher gas engines technology, the plant uses the biogas coming from the decomposition of organic matter to convert it into renewable electricity. In addition to feeding the grid with a fully renewable energy source, the installation of gas engines on Calvert landfill has reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and in parallel reducing odours. Since the Algerian Ministry of Environment (MATE) is engaged in a large construction program of 118 landfills, the Director of Urban Environmental Policy, M. Tolba, said prior to this visit he would be happy to work on a pilot project with Sonelgaz to promote the use of an energy that is currently wasted. In the UK, Clarke Energy has installed over 450MW of landfill gas generation equipment.

During this visit, Didier Lartigue, Main Board Director of Clarke Energy, detailed the numerous advantages of the gas engine technology for electricity production in medium size power plants (between 5 and 25 MW) : their low cost installation, ease of maintenance, excellent performance and minimal derating at high temperatures compared to the turbines make them “the ideal product for isolated regions of the South” Boutarfa says.

The industry also has enormous potential for cogeneration applications, says Stéphane Michaut, Sales Engineer at Clarke Energy in Algeria, as the gas engines are the best way to supply the factories with reliable power by addressing micro shortages and shortages, which become more frequent in the summer. Despite the low energy costs, return on investment of gas-engine power plants in Algeria is around 4 years, making it an extremely promising market for Clarke Energy.

Clarke Energy would like to thank Infinis for their support during this visit.