Reducing air pollution from a city’s main power plant

New pollution-scrubbing equipment is being fitted to a power plant in Craiova, in south-west Romania. The goal is to clean up the plant’s sulphur dioxide and other particulate emissions, in line with the country’s commitments to comply with specific EU legislation on air pollution.

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Flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) equipment is being installed at two units of the power plant. The main expected outcome is better air quality for this city of some 300 000 people.

Flue gas desulphurisation

The Craiova Power Complex employs around 1 630 people. A branch of the complex, the Craiova II Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHPP), supplies electricity for the Romanian national grid and produces 95% of the heat required for the district heating of the city’s hospitals, schools, public institutions and some companies.

The current project stems from the necessity for all Romanian power plants to limit their emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) into the air, to comply with EU legislation on industrial pollution. Under the country’s Accession Treaty to the EU, Romania was granted transition periods to meet the EU rules on limiting NOx emissions (31 December 2009) and SO2 emissions (31 December 2010).

To meet the sulphur dioxide emissions limit by the end of 2010, the Craiova Power Complex decided to install FGD equipment at two units of its CHPP branch. This equipment uses wet limestone to remove the targeted chemicals from exhaust gases. Besides controlling the emissions of SO2 in the flue gas, the FGD equipment will control emissions of hydrogen chloride, sulphur trioxide, mercury, particulate matter and other pollutants that may be present in the flue gas. The company’s choice of system was also guided by recommendations in the EU best available techniques.

City’s air to meet EU standards

The main result at regional level will be an improvement in air quality, benefiting biodiversity and the local population. As a result, the project is expected to help attract new investors to the region and improve its living standards.

Thanks to this project, and other environmental projects carried out by the company, Craiova II CHPP will be fully compliant with EU environmental law, as it applies to Romania, by the end of 2010. The FGD system will initially reduce the Craiova II CHPP’s SO2 emissions to a maximum limit of 379 mg/Nm3, for a standard fuel mixture of lignite and gas. The system can also reduce SO2 emissions still further, if required by future EU legislation.

Draft date

21/02/2011