Emerson Chosen for Innovative Waste to Energy Gasification Facility in France

Emerson’s Ovation expert control system provides flexible and accurate control of a powerful biomass gasification plant in France.

CHO-Power, part of the Europlasma Group, is using Emerson Process Management’s digital automation technology to control a new waste- and biomass-fed power station at Morcenx in southwestern France. By providing flexible and accurate control of an innovative gasification process, Emerson’s Ovation expert control system is enabling the plant to operate at maximum efficiency.

The new Morcenx gasification facility will generate 12 MW of power from 150 metric tons per day of industrial and wood waste, making it the most powerful plant of its type worldwide. The efficient use of waste and biomass fuel helps the plant support European energy guidelines promoting the use of continuous-source renewable energy with low CO2 emissions. Start-up was in autumn 2012, and the plant was commissioned to the grid at the beginning of 2013.

The Morcenx power station is the first of its type to use an innovative and highly efficient gasification principle based on patented 'Turboplasma' equipment to transform waste into syngas. The 1200°C temperatures generated from the plasma torch produce a very pure syngas that is used to drive the turbine and generate electricity. In addition, 18 MWth of hot water from the cooling system is used to heat a vegetable greenhouse and a wood drier.

“We selected Emerson’s Ovation system because it provides the levels of flexibility and control needed to cope with the varying characteristics of biomass fuels,” said Yannick Ferriere, project manager, CHO Power. “Also critical was Emerson’s extensive project management experience with biomass power generating plants, as well as its technical support including engineering, configuration of the Ovation system, training, start-up assistance, and maintenance.”

The Ovation system will perform data acquisition and monitor and control all major plant components to provide improved unit stability, responsiveness, thermal efficiencies, tighter overall control of plant operations, and a more concise view of key plant and turbine parameters. The system provides embedded advanced algorithms and proven control routines that continually adjust the combustion process to compensate for the varying characteristics of biomass fuels. This maximizes both boiler and plant efficiency. The Ovation system interfaces with the GE steam turbine, gas treatment system, and gas engine using Profibus-DP communications. 

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