Le Gol was one of the earliest cogeneration plants built by Albioma in Overseas France. The plant has been supplying electricity to the Reunion Island network for more than 20 years; it is partly fuelled by recovering bagasse, a fibrous residue of sugar cane.
Le Gol, located near Saint-Louis, is the second thermal biomass power plant built by Albioma on Reunion Island, after the Bois-Rouge facility. It was commissioned in 1995 and has an installed capacity of 122 MW.
Biomass and energy production
In 2018, the Le Gol cogeneration plant generated 741 GWh of electricity as well as producing low-pressure steam. Some 272,000 tonnes of bagasse from the island’s sugar cane plantations were used as fuel. The share of locally-sourced biomass is set to increase further in coming years, as Albioma intends to convert the plant to operate exclusively using biomass by 2023. Outside sugar harvests, the Group is seeking to replace coal with other locally-available sources of biomass. Several potential solutions are currently being studied, including using shredded green waste or establishing a forestry biomass industry in conjunction with the Regional Authority and the national forestry office (ONF).
What is cogeneration?
In a thermal power plant, cogeneration refers to the ability to simultaneously produce electricity and heat from the same primary energy source. Rather than being lost, the heat generated by the combustion process is recovered, enhancing the facility's energy efficiency.