Veolia, EDF Unit Opens France’s Largest Wood Heat, Power Plant

A unit of Veolia Environnement SA, the biggest water utility, and Electricite de France SA opened the country’s largest heat and power biomass facility at a production plant of papermaker Smurfit Kappa Group Plc.

The plant that will produce electricity and heat from wood in the Aquitaine region of southwest France has a 69-megawatt capacity. EDF will buy the power and Smurfit will use the steam to dry paper, Paris-based Dalkia SAS said today in a statement.

“This facility, which is of a rare size, has enabled us to put in place a regional supply chain for wood energy and to create 94 direct jobs: 24 jobs at the plant itself and 70 in the supply chain,” Dalkia Chairman Franck Lacroix said.

France seeks to double energy generation from biomass by 2020 and in March confirmed support for 15 large-scale biomass projects that will total 420 megawatts and involve 1.4 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in investment.

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