Renewables

Irish Eqtec re-enters Croatia market with Belišće biomass facility

Irish Eqtec re-enters Croatia market with Belišće biogas facility

Belišće biogas plant (photo: Eqtec)

Published

August 13, 2021

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Published:

August 13, 2021

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Waste-to-energy and gasification solutions company Eqtec has announced it has completed the acquisition of a 1.2 MW power plant in Belišće, Croatia. The facility built in 2016 will be recommissioned and repowered to use forestry wood waste from local farms and forests and produce electricity and heat for the local community.

The Belišće biomass gasification plant, located in the country’s northeast, was taken over via Synergy Projects, a joint venture of Eqtec, based in Ireland, and its Croatian project development partner Sense ESCO. Eqtec said it would pick local engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractors at a later stage.

The plant will use 8,000 tonnes per year of locally sourced wood chips and forestry waste biomass from regional forests

The company added it would apply for a grid connection before the end of the year and that the plant is expected to be updated, recommissioned and repowered for operations towards the end of 2022. The facility is expected to use 8,000 tonnes per year of locally sourced wood chips and forestry waste biomass from regional forests, Eqtec said, revealing it would become the operation and maintenance (O&M) contractor after recommissioning.

The firm set up as a joint venture is currently 100% owned by Eqtec, but 20% of equity is set to be transferred to Sense ESCO after completion, and it will get an additional 20% subject to performance milestones

The joint venture’s acquisition of the special purpose vehicle or SPV for Belišće was funded by Eqtec via a EUR 550,000 loan and a EUR 1.6 million 10-year loan provided by a third party, according to the update. The joint venture currently is 100% owned by Eqtec, with 20% equity to be transferred to Sense ESCO after completion and an additional 20% subject to performance milestone, the company said.

In May 2015, Eqtec Iberia signed a contract to design, supply, install and commission the gasification unit using its technology with Intel Trade, based in Rijeka, Croatia. It was valued at EUR 6 million at the time. Sense ESCO was involved from the start and the unit was initially commissioned in December 2016, but later it was disconnected.

Irish firm React Energy took over Eqtec Iberia in December 2017 and kept the Ecteq brand.

Belišće plant is one of several EU waste-to-value facilities to be developed by Eqtec

David Palumbo, CEO of Eqtec, said the cooperation with Sense ESCO provides the perfect platform for the company’s re-entry into Croatia with its advanced gasification technology, to sustainably transform biomass waste into energy for local communities.

The plant in Belišće, which will also be the company’s market development centre (MDC), is among several waste-to-value facilities it is developing in the European Union, he added. Eqtec revealed in June that a similar 1 MW facility in Tuscany, Italy, would become its first MDC, showcasing the solutions in a fully operational, commercial setting.

Eqtec is building two similar plants in Greece and California. It said it is also eyeing a deal for a 1.2 MW power plant in Karlovac, Croatia.

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