News 8 August 2023

Permits obtained to start revamping work at Termica Colleferro thermoelectric power plant

For the past few months, Cogenera has been engaged in obtaining the necessary permits for the revamping of the Termica Colleferro S.p.A. thermoelectric power plant. This is a cogenerative combined cycle power plant, serving industries in the industrial district of Colleferro (RM), previously authorized through Integrated Environmental Authorization (A.I.A.) for IPPC activity 1.1- Combustion of fuels in installation with a nominal technical power of 50 MW or more.

As the existing plants have now reached the end of their service life, a complete refurbishment of the power plant is planned in order to ensure reliability and efficiency in energy production (steam at 300°C and 20 bar and electricity). Specifically, the project sees the phasing out of the existing plants and the installation of:

  • n.1 gas turbine with a nominal thermal output of 17.5 MW, combined with a 2 MW post firing, characterized by an electrical output of 5.4 MWe (ISO conditions)
  • n.5 steam generators characterized by a total firepower of 25 MW
  • n.4 generator sets to ensure an emergency electrical power of about 4 MWe

Downstream of the planned interventions, the plant will be characterized by a significantly lower installed capacity than the current one, in order to optimize its operation with respect to the intervening changes in the energy needs of the industrial district. Specifically, the plant will be characterized by a total installed thermal power of less than 50 MW, and therefore the prerequisites for the application of the current A.I.A. will lapse.

In addition, by virtue of the new plant configuration, the plant will significantly reduce climate-altering emissions and will no longer be subject to ETS (Emission Trading System), i.e., the European greenhouse gas emission allowance trading system.

To ensure continuity of service to the underlying industrial utilities, including AVIO (a leading international group in space launchers, propulsion, and space transportation), the revamping work was divided into multiple work batches.

As a result, the authorization path was designed to meet the needs of the plant and its utilities and therefore divided, in turn, into several authorization steps, the main milestones of which consist of:

  • Unified Environmental Authorization (A.U.A.), pursuant to Presidential Decree 59/2013, required for the priority installation of steam generators and emergency generators;
  • Unique Authorization, in accordance with Legislative Decree 115/08 et seq. required for the subsequent installation of the gas turbine and related power generation.

These milestones, however, fit into a complex authorization framework complicated by:

  • Coexistence of environmental permits, A.I.A. (of which prior modification was required) and A.U.A., during the transitional period of installation and commissioning of new plants
  • inclusion of the plant in the Site of National Interest (SIN) Bacino del Fiume Sacco (Sacco River Basin) with the consequent procedures in terms of management of excavated soil and rocks
  • need to de-emphasize the constraint of wooded areas insisting on the plant but related to a failure to update the Regional Territorial Landscape Plan (R.T.P.P.).
  • Classification of the establishment as a building with important public or strategic functions (use class IV) with consequent seismic requirements
  • obligation of intervention aimed at ensuring compliance with the hydraulic invariance of the project in accordance with the relevant guidelines of the Lazio Region
  • Adjacency of the power plant to Major Accident Hazard (R.I.R.) establishments with obligatory verifications of the relevant isodanno curves
  • need to break down municipal permits into multiple steps in order to allow work to begin in the planned sequences in accordance with progressively obtained environmental permits.

This authorization scenario has seen Cogenera involved both in the completion of the relevant procedures and in the supervision and coordination of the numerous professionals involved in the process.

The recent obtaining of the A.U.A. therefore represents the first important milestone that allows Termica Colleferro S.p.A. to start the first batch of works.


Veronica Filisina