Advanced Renewable Energy Ltd is to build up to 25 small scale biomass-fuelled power plants in Italy using Babcock & Wilcox Vølund’s combined cycle gasification (CCG) technology.

The two companies have signed a ten-year agreement that makes Babcock & Wilcox Vølund the exclusive supplier to Italy-based ARE. BWV anticipates receiving orders for six plants in 2008, with the first scheduled for operation in early 2010.

The agreement is potentially worth up to EUR100 million, according to BWV, which has previously licensed the technology in Japan.

Each of the Italian projects will be designed to produce 4 MW of electricity using wood chip biomass to produce gas fuel that is used in a combined cycle unit. The plants will operate with an electrical efficiency of 45 per cent, nearly double the efficiency of conventional small-scale biomass plants.

The projects will source biomass fuel from Italy’s forest products industry, and will also earn Green Certificates under an Italian scheme designed to stimulate the market for renewable energy.