Keep an eye on BRIC countries - and Africa
North America and Europe tend to dominate the global cogeneration market as much as any other industry sector but, as a feature article in the current print issue of COSPP points out, sometimes market and/or regulatory conditions arise in countries outside these two areas which lead to a surge of new schemes in a short period of time.
Often this coincides with the introduction of a new support programme for cogeneration from the government, but it can also follow the extension of the gas grid locally or the emergence of a locally-available renewable fuel.
The article mentions Brazil, where strong national government support has already led to over a gigawatt of new cogeneration capacity being installed since the 1990s, and where the increased availability of natural gas and new state support programmes will continue the growth of cogeneration. As if to back this up, we have since seen the opening of a new cogeneration scheme, supplied by Metso to a paper mill in Brazil, which supplies steam for the pulp manufacturing process and power both for use on-site and for export.
The same issue also features a series of cogeneration installations that include gas turbine technology from OPRA in another of the ‘BRIC’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries, which are said to be not so far behind the world’s two major markets in energy infrastructure project activity. The Russian installations serve oil and gas field sites, many in remote locations where grid power is unavailable but gas is both plentiful and cheap.
Recent weeks have also seen a new 4 MW cogeneration scheme being opened to replace old diesel gensets at a Honda motorcycle and scooter factory in a third BRIC country – India. Two GE Jenbacher CHP units generate the on-site energy.
But we are also seeing activity in Africa, which may eventually follow the BRIC countries as an important source of new energy business opportunities. Energy and chemicals company Sasol is currently commissioning a 140 MW gas-fuelled cogeneration plant at its facility in Sasolburg in South Africa to replace grid power.
Meanwhile, Canadian and Saudi Arabian companies Nova Scotia Sustainable Energy and Tala Investment are developing a sugar cane biofuel cogeneration project in Sudan. Last, Finland’s Wärtsilä has extended its agreement to operate and maintain a 47 MW on-site power scheme at the United Cement Company of Nigeria plant in Nigeria’s Cross River State.
We are well used to the successful cogeneration and district industries operating in many parts of Europe and Scandinavia. Similarly, parts of the US and Canada have well-developed CHP and district energy sectors. But also watch the BRIC countries, Asia and even Africa if you want to see the whole picture.