Areva builds on Koblitz acquisition

15 September 2008

French engineering firm Areva has followed up its recent acquisition of Brazilian renewable energy developer Koblitz with a contract to construct a new biomass power plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Tractebel Energia SA has awarded Areva Koblitz a contract worth over EUR33 million to design and build a 33 MW plant using sugar cane bagasse as fuel.

The plant will be Tractebel Energia’s first sugar cane bagasse-fuelled plant. The company, a division of GDF Suez, generates around eight per cent of Brazil’s power, making it the country’s largest private power generator.

Construction work has already begun and commissioning is scheduled for April 2010. The contract is the result of a long-standing relationship between Koblitz and Tractebel, says Areva.

“Areva Koblitz built Tractebel Energia’s first renewable energy plant – the 28 MW Lages bioenergy cogeneration plant in Santa Catarina – and has supported Tractebel in developing its business,” explained Luiz Otávio Koblitz, CEO of Areva Koblitz.

Areva acquired a 70 per cent stake Koblitz in January 2008 as part of its drive to increase activities in the “CO2-free” energy market. The purchase is enabling the engineering firm to not only expand its base in Brazil, which has a large and growing renewable energy sector, but also broaden its technical capabilities.

The new plant will be installed on the Andrade ethanol plant, which is owned by the Guarani group, in Pitangueiras, Sao Paulo.

Areva expects Brazil’s renewable energy market to expand by around five per cent – or 5000 MW – per year, and says that the sugar cane bagasse power plant market is currently growing at an “unprecedented” rate.

So far in 2008 Areva Koblitz has recorded a 60 per cent increase in orders compared with the same period in 2007.

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