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More energy savings with a new high-efficiency cooling plant

14/11/2022 - 17:01 h

A project is under way to develop a new high-efficiency cooling plant in the Zona Franca which will make use of residual waste for the regasification of liquid natural gas by Enagás. The new cooling network will be operative in November 2023 through the Barcelona Ecoenergies Network, covering the refrigeration needs of Mercabarna and the Port.

The cooling plant will see Barcelona strengthen its commitment to renewable energies and energy efficiency, in line with the Barcelona Climate Emergency Declaration. The project will also turn Ecoeneregies Barcelona into the main network in the Spanish state and introduce residual waste from the regasification process into a source of energy, following the example of other pioneering European cities in energy savings.

Making use of residual cold

The new Ecoenergies network will make use of up to 18 MW of residual cold from the regasification process of liquid natural gas carried out by Enagás. This energy was previously lost in the sea. The residual cold waste is at a very low temperature (minus 20 degrees) and will now be channelled and taken to the Energy Centre in the Zona Franca. From there it will be distributed for industrial use, covering the cooling needs of Mercabarna and the Port, or even stored in the form of ice. It will also be used for the cooling network at the centre, in this case at a temperature of 5 degrees. The project involves an investment of 41 million euros and the centre will come into service in November 2023.

Ecoenergies Barcelona

The City Council, Veolia and Copisa are all participants in the company Ecoenergies Barcelona. The company centralises the distribution network for hot and cold energy in residential, industrial and services buildings connecting from La Marina del Prat Vermell, the Port, Zona Franca and the Gran Via trade fair facilities in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat. The activity at the centre avoids the emission of nearly 23,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, equivalent to taking 40,000 vehicles out of circulation.

The Zona Franca Energy Centre also has a biomass plant which generates electricity and power from garden cuttings by Barcelona Parks and Gardens, along with wood offcuts from forestry tasks.

The goal of all these initiatives is to boost energy savings and reduce the environmental impact in the production of electricity, heat and cold.