RWE sells share in Italian biomass facility

By Erin Voegele | October 07, 2014

RWE Innogy recently announced the sale of its stake in the Sicilian biomass power plant Enna to FriEl Green Power, Bozen. The 18.7 MW facility has been operating since mid-2013. The sale is consistent with an announcement made by the company last year that smaller-scale biomass plants would no longer be a part of its core business.  As part of its 2013 financial results released earlier this year, the RWE went a step further and announced “RWE Innogy will not launch any new biomass projects.”

 Prior to the recent sale, RWE owned 80 percent of the Enna plant. According to the company, 10 percent of that ownership was recently acquired from the former joint venture partner IG.

"Together with FriEl Green Power we have constructed the first biomass cogeneration plant in Sicily,” said Phil Piddington, head of RWE Innogy Biomass. “I am now proud to hand over a power plant that operates well and I am happy that FriEl Green Power now becomes the 100 percent owner. In times of limited funds the disposal of non-core biomass activities is a required step for RWE Innogy and contributes to support future growth in core segments." 

Earlier this year, RWE began operations at a biomass-fired combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plant in Markinch, Scotland. The 46 MW facility began operating commercially in March. In its financial report for the first half of 2014, RWE said it had to recognize an impairment loss on the facility because construction was delayed and became more expensive.

The Enna plant is not the only biomass facility sold by RWE recently. In 2013, the company sold its share in two small-scale biomass plants in Germany to a subsidiary of Koehler Holding GmbH & Co.

RWE also previously operated the U.K.’s largest biomass power plant. That facility, the 750 MW Tilbury Power Station, ceased operations in mid-2013. The facility underwent an initial trial conversion to biomass in 2011. A second conversion phase was not completed after RWE was informed the project would not be eligible for a government subsidy.