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Albioma commissions first sugarcane-based bioethanol combustion turbine

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Albioma has announced the industrial commissioning of the first peak-load combustion turbine (CT) operating mostly on bioethanol in Saint-Pierre, Réunion Island. The commissioning will begin on the 25 February 2019 and the total cost of the investment is around €60 million ($68 million).

The new CT is going to work with two types of fuel, 80% bioethanol distilled from sugarcane molasses and 20% diesel fuel, which is needed to start the turbine.

Albioma states that the 41MW combustion turbine is a flexible and highly responsive means of production. The CT is designed to start in less than 7 minutes, keep up with consumption peaks and helps secure the Réunion grid. The CT will also facilitate the integration and management by the network of other sources of renewable energy.

The company has been developing a unique partnership with the sugar industry for over 25 years, in order to ensure the stability of its power grid. Albioma say that this has enabled it to transform bagasse into energy locally, by means of tow thermal power plants that are located close to the sugar factories in Le Gol and Bois-Rouge.