Austrian Holzindustrie Schweighofer company on Thursday opened the largest biomass cogeneration plant in Romania in Radauti, the northeast county of Suceava.
The plant has a total capacity of 22 MW, 17 MW of heat and 5 MW of electricity, and is the outcome of a 20-million-euro investment.
Owner of the Austrian company Gerald Schweighofer told the opening ceremony that Romania has a huge biomass potential and this plant is just a first step.
He also announced that another biomass cogeneration plan will open in the central town of Sebes next month, with half the capacity of the Radauti plant, and that he intends to invest 25-30 million euros more in a plant of 8.5 MW electricity, most probably in Sebes again.
Schweighofer said Romania’s huge biomass potential is not given by the forestry sector alone, and voiced intention to set up collection points where each vegetation debtor can bring the raw material for the biomass.
Chairman of the Suceava County Council Gheorghe Flutur said Holzindustrie Schweighofer’s investment in Radauti is a step forward toward increasing Romania’s energy independence, mentioning that the Romanian Government contributed 5 million euros worth of environmental funds toward the project.
The cogeneration plant opened in Radauti is operated by the Gerfor company, and it uses 40 cubic metres of biomass an hour, with the heat thus generated being used to dry up the timber of the nearby Holzindustrie Schweighofer wood factory and for heating 7,000 plants of Radauti. The electricity generated there will be supplied to Romania’s national energy system.
Holzindustrie Schweighofer has so far invested 260 million euros in Romania in two wood processing factories, employing 1,200 workers.