GDF Suez, its subsidiary Electrabel unveil 180-MW Rodenhuize wood pellet-fueled power station in Belgium after investing €125M to convert coal-fired unit at facility; British Columbia's Pacific BioEnergy supplying one-third of pellets

PARIS , September 26, 2011 (press release) – GDF SUEZ and its subsidiary Electrabel unveil today the Rodenhuize 100% biomass power station in Belgium. A €125 million investment has allowed to transform a coal-fired unit at the Rodenhuize power station into a 100% biomass unit.

This power plant is a world first in two ways: it’s the largest conversion of this kind and it offers the best environmental results among the transformed biomass units.

The new unit has an output of 180 MW and generates a volume of electricity every year that is equivalent to the annual consumption of 320,000 families. In addition, it will reduce CO₂ emissions by 1.2 million tonnes annually. The plant is jointly owned by Electrabel (73%) and Ackermans & van Haaren (27%)

In the new unit, coal has been fully replaced by wood pellets that are certified by an independent body to be of sustainable origin. One-third of the supply of wood pellets for the new Rodenhuize unit is sent by boat to the port of Ghent from the Pacific BioEnergy production facility located in the Canadian province of British Columbia, with whom Electrabel has signed a long-term contract for 225,000 tonnes of biomass per year.

Sophie Dutordoir, General Manager of Electrabel, asserted that,“This achievement is a world first in terms of environmental performance. It is one of a kind for its scope, the technology used and its environmental features, and is a major contribution to the achievement of the goals set by the European Union. This project dovetails perfectly with our strategy to develop diversified facilities and is in line with the ambitious commitments that the Group has pursued in renewable energy.”

As the European leader in generation from biomass, GDF SUEZ has developed unique expertise, and is currently building a 190 MW power plant in Polaniec, in Poland, which will be commissioned at the end of 2012.

About GDF SUEZ

GDF SUEZ (gdfsuez.com) develops its businesses around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, fighting against climate change and maximizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: liquefied natural gas, energy efficiency services, independent power production and environmental services. GDF SUEZ employs 218,350 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €84.5 billion in 2010. The Group is listed on the Brussels, Luxembourg and Paris stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Stoxx 50, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe, ASPI Eurozone and ECPI Ethical Index EMU.

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