Consolidating Romgaz position on the energy supply markets is also one of the company’s priorities as set out in its 2015 - 2025 Development Strategy.
In the field of electric power generation, Romgaz is attempting to streamline this activity by implementing investments aiming to increase the efficiency of the Iernut thermoelectric power plant (Iernut CTE) up to at least 55%, while complying with the environmental requirements ( NOx, CO2 emissions), and enhancing safety in operation.
Based on the analysis of the current state and performances of Iernut CTE, the following key issues have been highlighted:
- combined cycle power plants have been estimated to have 15 – 20 more efficiency points than the existing power plant, as determined by comparing the electric power generation efficiency (specific fuel consumptions) of the groups within the existing plant with the performances achieved globally by combined cycle power plants (55 – 57% efficiency);
- increased energy efficiency and flexibility in operation as well as less pollutant emissions (CO2, NOX, etc)
- the necessity to minimize the costs of electric power generation, correlated with the necessity to reduce the hydrocarbon consumption to generate electricity, while increasing the efficiency of this activity, requires the adoption of improved technologies with minimum specific consumptions.
The analysis of modernizing/development possibilities of Iernut CTE has rendered necessary and opportune with the aim of improving the technical – economical parameters of the power plant, increasing its life span and ensuring compliance with the provisions of the Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament on industrial emissions.
It was decided to develop the Iernut CTE – within the Electric Power Generation Branch - by building a new, combined cycle power plant with an installed power of maximum 430 MW and gross electrical efficiency at nominal load of at least 56%.
In this respect, Romgaz conducted an open tender award procedure and concluded with the successful bidder a works contract having as object the modernization /development of Iernut CTE, namely design, supply of equipment, performance of necessary works and commissioning.
- The contract has a value of approximately EUR268 million, VAT excluded
- Time limit for completion of works is 36 months.
According to the Feasibility Study, the most feasible solution is building a new, combined cycle power plant, composed of:
- 4 gas turbines
- 4 heat recovery steam generators (HRSG), with three pressure levels
- 2 steam turbines
The technical solution has the advantage of flexibility in operation and an efficiency of electric power generation of more than 56%, in compliance with the BAT-BREF requirements.
- Gross electrical power: 430 MW
- Gross electrical efficiency at nominal load: 56.42%
- All 4 HRSGs will operate in parallel and will supply with steam each and any of the two steam turbines
- The three Diesel groups will ensure safe shut-down of the installations in case of total external power failure, and black start of the first gas turbine.
- The energy groups will be dispatchable and will ensure Ancillary Services (AS): primary control, secondary control and rapid tertiary control, voltage and reactive power control in accordance with the qualification requirements of Transelectrica – DEN
The New Power Plant will be an important component for Romgaz in the integrated natural gas value chain.
The efficiency of electric power generation will increase to 56.42% as compared to the current efficiency of approx. 35 -39%, thus diminishing the natural gas fuel consumption, and, implicitly, emissions.
Electric power generation costs will decrease, while safety in operation will increase.
An increased flexibility of the power plant will consolidated the company’s presence on the targeted centralized market.
Importance and positive impact of the new investment in Iernut on the National Energy System (NES) safety by:
- Increasing and improving the stability conditions in terms of voltage as well as the electric power quality by ensuring an important reserve of reactive power for voltage control;
- Level of NES adequacy¹, due to operation on a fuel alternative to the already existent ones in the NES, by securing supply of energy during periods when there is a shortage in this regard in other types of power plants (reduced hydroelectric power during dryness periods, reduced photovoltaic power during high cloudiness periods, reduced Aeolian power during periods of low wind speeds);
- Compensation of high variability of electric power generation from renewable generation sources due to the enhanced technical capabilities of groups to rapidly load/discharge.
¹ adequacy - capacity of the electro-energetic system to satisfy on a permanent basis the power and energy requirements of the consumers
Environment and Nature Conservation
Romania is transitioning to a low-carbon economy by producing cleaner and more efficient electricity from gas, that being the pathway to reduce the country’s greenhouse emissions, while securing supply of electric power in terms of safety and accessibility.
Modern combined cycle power plants represent the cleaner and more efficient existent technology to generate electricity from fossil fuels. Such a power plant produces less than half of CO2 emissions as compared to a coal plant of similar size. Unlike fossil fuel power plants (such as coal and fuel oil) the sulphides in natural gas are insignificant, and the dust emissions of the combined cycle power plant will be minimal.
Operation of the new power plant will be made in accordance with BAT requirements regarding the NOx and CO emissions for combustion installations, gas – steam combined cycle type:
- maximum NOx emissions: 50 mg/Nmc;
- reduced NOx emissions to approx. 25% of the level of the current Iernut CTE operation, by implementing the new investment;
- maximum CO emissions: 100 g/Nmc
CO2 specific emission (tCO2 /MWh product) of the new plant will decrease to 0.360, below the threshold value of 0.374 set by BREF-BAT requirements.
Quality of Discharged Water
- The reduction in discharged cooling water volumes will be significant;
- The Mures River water temperature difference between downstream the cooling water discharge point and upstream the intake point shall not exceed 6°C.
Visual Impact and Level of Noise
- Modern combined cycle power plants have a much lower overall size, require less space and have a much lower visual impact as compared to traditional fossil fuel plants;
- Because the landscape and visual impact are often a major concern for the local communities and stakeholders, the design of the proposed combined cycle power plant will have a reduced visual impact on the surroundings;
- During operation, the equipment will generate a level of noise below 65dB(A) within the industrial site.
Protected areas of vegetation and fauna lie in the vicinity of CTE Iernut:
- Iernut-Cipău ponds;
- Lechinta Gullet and Mures River, upstream and downstream the Power Plant;
Thus, to protect the aquatic environment of the Mures River:
- The ichtyofauna will be monitored before and after completion of works;
- A modern fish ladder will be built, operational within the water inlet dam, for all fish species, in order to maintain the longitudinal connectivity of the Mures River
Building a new combined cycle power plant represents a long term commitment for the Iernut area. It will ensure long term work places in the area and it represents a substantial investment for the local economy.