New CHP: Gas Turbine and Steam Boiler Arco Paper Mill

Project Description

The project consisted of replacing a gas turbine (7 MW electric), a boiler and a diathermic oil boiler with a new, state-of-the-art gas turbine.

Arco paper mill (Fedrigoni Group) produces coated fine papers for global markets. Electrical energy is distributed in the plant at medium and low voltage, and thermal energy is distributed through steam and used to dry the paper. A cogeneration system is installed to reduce the cost of steam and electrical energy. The gas turbine is connected to the main gas distribution at 21bar. The new system has an 8MW gas turbine generator, which sends its exhaust fumes (at about 500° C) to a recovery/post-combustion boiler. It is also equipped with fresh air.

The new cogeneration system reduces gas consumption and CO2 emissions. It was launched in November 2020 and will run 356 days/year (~8,500 hours / year).

Project Purpose

This project significantly reduces gas consumption, and cuts CO2 emissions (Scope I + Scope II) by ~3,350 tons per year.

More importantly, the turbine could be powered in the future by a mix of methane and hydrogen, delivering additional benefits on CO2 emissions. The stakeholders are Provincia Autonoma di Trento, Comune di Arco (TN) and APPA di Trento, who were involved from the design phase to start-up. It was very challenging to complete the project in only 10 months and start up the new system without halting production, particularly considering the pandemic. Internally the Fedrigoni Group Board, CEO, COO, Energy Manager, Purchasing Department, Plant Manager and Maintenance were involved; external consultants and the community participated through a workplace platform.

Project Evaluation

The exceptional part of this project is the technology of the new turbine compared with the old one, as well as the ability to use a mix of methane and hydrogen. This investment is part of a larger corporate decarbonisation plan, and using a mixture of methane and green hydrogen would fit with the Group’s target of reducing CO2 emissions by 2030.

Angelo Colucci

Mill Director

What makes your project innovative relatively to
decarbonisation?
This project significantly reduces gas consumption and
CO2 emissions (Scope I + Scope II) by ~3.350 tons per
year. More importantly, the turbine could be powered
in the future with a mix of methane plus hydrogen with
an additional benefit on the CO2 emissions and carbon
footprint.

What challenges did you face and overcome along the
way?
It was very challenging to complete the project in only
10 months and start up the new system without stop
production, also considering the pandemic.