Veolia Hungary Has Further Reduced Its Ecological Footprint

The energy group improved the energy efficiency of its facilities with a HUF 1.7 billion investment in 2020.

One of the biggest challenges of our time is how to make energy production and energy management sustainable in a world where energy needs are constantly increasing.  Veolia Hungary, one of the leading players on the Hungarian energy, water and waste market, supplies services to numerous towns, institutions and industrial facilities helping them efficiently manage their resources. The volume of electricity generated and sold by the company group ensures the annual electricity needs of close to 623 000 people. In 2020, Veolia invested HUF 1.7 billion into increasing the efficiency of its power plants and significantly reducing the ecological footprint of its facilities. The company group intends to promote prudent energy consumption by presenting its own efforts towards energy efficiency.

The protection of the environment, the increasing of energy efficiency and the application of the circular economic model are all included among the objectives of Veolia Hungary, which operates highly efficient gas-fired and biomass-fired units in seven of its power plants. Its virtual power plant has a significant share from the balancing market, contributing to the utilisation of renewable energy resources and their integration into the network. Veolia Hungary invested roughly HUF 1.7 billion last year alone into projects aiming at increasing energy efficiency in the facilities it operates. These projects also contribute to sustainable energy supply, the reduction of green-house gases, as well as to the security of supply and the decreasing of import energy costs.

Renewable Energy from Biomass

The activities of the Veolia Group cover the full value chain on the Hungarian energy market: gas and biomass trading, district heating production and supply, electricity generation and trading are all part of the company’s portfolio. That is why it has great significance that more than 60% of the electricity sold (1 702 335 MWh) by the company in 2020 comes from renewable, biomass resources.

Veolia operates five power plants in Hungary which all use biomass as fuel: in Pécs, Ajka, Szakoly, Dorog and Tata. The power plant of Pécs is the largest biomass-fired plant in Central Eastern Europe, which does not only generate green electricity, but supplies district heating to the town of Pécs from purely renewable resources.

By purchasing the gas engine units in Salgótarján in 2020, the Veolia Group strengthened its presence on the balancing market contributing to more efficient energy production, the use of renewable energy resources, as well as to the integration of weather dependent energy sources into the network.

Investments for Better Energy Efficiency

Large-scale boiler reconstruction works started in the power plant of Ajka at the beginning of last year, which is one of the most important parts of the overall modernisation project of the plant. The operator Bakonyi Erőmű Zrt. expects to improve the environmental performance of the power plant as a result of the refurbishment. The district heating company in Ajka supplies more than 7 000 customers at present in Ajka with heat produced mainly from renewable resources.

Veolia Hungary puts great emphasis on both the renewal and construction of new heat sub-stations in Hungary, which allows a more efficient use of district heating pipelines. As a result of the insulation of part of the pipeline of Promtávhő between Dorog and Esztergom, the energy efficiency of the network has significantly increased. The installation of a 38 kwa capacity solar panel in the heating plant of Érd also contributes to energy efficiency. The HUF 1.97 billion refurbishment of Turbine IV of the power plant in Pécs also took place in 2020. The turbine blading, hydraulic control and protection system were modernised. As a result, the turbine’s efficiency improved from 10 200 kJ/kWh to 9 850 kJ/kWh.

Environmentally Friendly Technologies

The so-called combined heat and electricity production is a very efficient solution, whereby the generators connected to the gas turbines generate electricity and the remaining hot gas leaving the turbines can be used to generate steam for heating. As a result, fuel can be saved and the emission levels can be decreased. One of the units of Veolia CHP-Erőmű Kft. located in Újpalota, which is the largest capacity gas engine plant in Hungary, operates on this basis. This technology is also used in Debrecen and Nyíregyháza, as well as in some of the heating plants. Three subsidiaries of the company group have received the “District Heating Eco-Label”: the Tata and Dorog-Esztergom units were awarded for the use of biomass in district heating production, while the Cegléd unit was acknowledged for the high rate of combined heat and electricity production.

Veolia is one of the most important players on the Hungarian energy market with its more than 25-year professional experience. We are making continuous efforts year by year to increase the energy efficiency of our facilities, and sustainability is a key consideration in all our investment projects. As an energy provider we are committed to using sustainable and renewable energy resources in energy production. We are working to ensure that the future generations will have access to the indispensable resources” – said Ferenc Fernezelyi, Marketing and Key Accounts Director of Veolia Hungary.