Bioenergy project examples

Below we present examples of our abilities in report preparation, commercial cogeneration and innovative new systems:
  1. Bioenergy in Australia - comprehensive, high quality bioenergy report for Australian Government and Bioenergy Australia, 1st edition 2004 and 2nd edition 2012.
  2. 10 MWth bioenergy cogeneration plant for Australian Tartaric Products, Victoria. Enecon work included system optimisation, boiler, permitting and general project assistance.
  3. Multi-function bioenergy plant for Western Power Corporation (Verve Energy). Enecon scope included concept work, feasibility work, scale-up, detailed engineering, commissioning assistance and follow up trialling.

Details follow for each these assignments.

Bioenergy in Australia

The Australian Greenhouse Office and the Rural Industries R&D Corporation (RIRDC) jointly commissioned Enecon to develop a handbook on bioenergy, which was first published by RIRDC in 2004. The 250 page handbook presented technologies, costs and case studies in a format that is easy to understand and helpful as a learning and screening tool for a wide range of groups around Australia with interest in bioenergy.

In 2012 Enecon prepared a comprehensive, 360 page update of this report for Bioenergy Australia.

Industrial cogeneration – regional Victoria

As an example of a practical, commercial-scale cogeneration plant we present our work for Australian Tartaric Products (ATP) in northern Victoria. We assisted ATP in the development and implementation of a biomass cogeneration plant that utilised their processing waste – spent grape marc. This is an abundant and low cost fuel for ATP but it is produced on a seasonal basis and with specific issues regarding its effective use in a boiler. These issues with the feed are in addition to the seasonal nature of the company’s heat and electricity demand. Our assistance commenced with system design optimisation to close out business case development, working with the client to look at issues such as:

During project implementation we assisted as part of the larger team, leading up to boiler certification at the end of commissioning. We have provided further engineering support on this plant, and our work with ATP has expanded to include other projects at their site.

Enecon has provided a range of support for this 10 MWth biomass boiler and Organic Rankine Cycle power unit, northern Victoria.

Innovative bioenergy in rural Western Australia

Enecon is actively involved in the commercialisation of new technologies and processes, particularly in the bioenergy sector. One project that demonstrates this is the Integrated Tree Processing facility built for Verve Energy (formerly Western Power Corporation) in Western Australia. Enecon’s work on this multi award-winning project included:

Background - The Western Australian wheatbelt has suffered from the worst dryland salinity in Australia. The principal cause of this environmental problem has been the progressive removal of trees from the landscape over many years, allowing the water table to rise and bring salt to the surface, damaging farms, remnant vegetation and waterways.

The WA Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) determined that reintroducing trees into the farming landscape could help the management of water, and help to protect farmland from waterlogging and salinisation in the future. Native mallee eucalypts are favoured for new tree planting, in rows or belts so that other farming activities can continue.

A commercial driver was needed to cover the costs associated with planting these trees. Mallee trees grown in dryland farming regions are not competitive with conventional forestry. To provide a new commercial use for these trees, Enecon worked with CALM and Western Power Corporation (now Verve Energy) to develop the concept of Integrated Tree Processing (ITP). ITP used whole chipped mallee trees as feed to simultaneously produce renewable energy, high quality activated carbon and eucalyptus oil.

Initially Enecon led a technical study of this opportunity, which led to funding for a full-scale demonstration plant (see photo below). The plant was designed and engineered by Enecon to the client’s specifications and with Verve Energy as owner and Project Manager. Enecon’s work included process, mechanical, electrical, control, civil and structural aspects for:

Work was carried out between Enecon in Melbourne, the client’s offices in Perth and the plant site in rural WA. Enecon’s activities ranged from fundamental design work on new equipment through to sourcing and modifying second-hand plant from Australia and overseas. Enecon also assisted Verve Energy with follow up work for design optimisation, pilot plant trials, scale-up and cost estimating. All this work pointed to a commercially viable business, but with further activities required to fully understand the optimal design for a full scale plant. Verve Energy sought private equity to continue the work in the period at the start of the Global Financial Crisis, but was unable to attract new investors and eventually put the project on hold while it focused on other parts of its renewable energy business.

Full scale ITP plant - Narrogin, WA

In the 2007 IEAust Engineering Excellence Awards in Perth, Enecon and Verve Energy were awarded best environmental project and also best project for regional communities.

Engineering excellence awards for the Integrated Tree Processing plant in WA, won jointly by Enecon and Verve Energy in 2007.