GE’s Gas Engines Driving Major Expansion of Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plant in Chile

GE announced that six of its Jenbacher specialty gas engines will be installed at the Loma Los Colorados Landfill in Chile as part of a major expansion of the site’s existing landfill-gas-to-energy (LFGTE) plant. The landfill is located 63 kilometers northwest of Santiago and is the country’s largest municipal solid waste operation, which receives about 60 percent of solid waste from Santiago.


The 8.4-megawatt (MW) plant expansion known as “Lomas Los Colorados II” features six of GE’s 1.4-MW ecomagination-qualified J420 Jenbacher units. GE will install the units adjacent to seven GE Jenbacher gas engines already at the site. GE expects the new Jenbacher units to enter commercial service between 2012 and 2014, in line with landfill gas production. Combined, the 13 landfill gas-fueled engines are expected to generate a total of 18-MW of renewable power, enough to support the needs of about 75,000 homes in Chile.

“We are very excited to build on the success we have had with our Loma Los Colorados landfill gas-to-energy project, which is serving as an important renewable energy model for the region as Chile looks to diversify its energy mix,” said Sergio Durandeau, general manager of KDM Energía, which owns the landfill and the power plant. KDM Energia selected GE’s Jenbacher gas engines technology because of the J420 engine’s performance on other LFGTE projects worldwide and the local support provided with Generadora Transandina SA, GTSA (part of Secco industries), GE’s authorized distributor and service provider for Jenbacher gas engines in Chile. In addition to the Jenbacher gas engines, GE also provided a master engine control system to help the operator achieve maximum availability and efficiency from the generating equipment. “As Chile and more countries around the world look to recycle their own existing waste streams into new sources of renewable energy, GE’s proven Jenbacher and Waukesha distributed power solutions are helping customers meet their environmental and economic priorities by providing operational and fuel flexibility on power generation projects,” said Rafael Santana, CEO of Gas Engines, GE Energy.

Generadora Trasandina S.A.; GTSA (part of Secco Industries group) provided design and engineering support for the initial phase of this project and installed the Jenbacher gas engines. GTSA also will own the units during the next 10 years and is renting them to the end user who has a purchase option available during the contract period. GTSA will operate the units on behalf of KDM Energía under this 10-year agreement also covering maintenance services. GE’s alternative gas-to-power portfolio includes its Jenbacher and Waukesha gas engines, which are specifically designed to provide the fuel flexibility needed to accommodate the use of alternative fuels such as landfill gas while offering high levels of electrical efficiency. GE’s Jenbacher landfill gas engines are part of the ecomagination portfolio for successfully demonstrating that converting landfill gas to electricity demonstrates both improved value and environmental performance. Ecomagination is GE’s commitment to invest in a future that creates innovative solutions to global environmental challenges. Overall, GE’s Gas Engines business has more than 1,650 units operating on landfill gas with an electrical output of over 1,650 MW. In addition to the Loma Los Colorados Landfill project, GE also has another project underway in the region. GE will supply three of its 2.7-megawatt ecomagination-approved J620 Jenbacher biogas engines as part of Chilean water utility Aguas Andinas’ wastewater treatment plant expansion and renewable energy project along the Mapocho River, near the capital city of Santiago. GE expects to commission the engines during the second half of 2012. The project is part of Chile’s efforts to clean up the city’s municipal water supply and protect the region from the environmental impacts of continued population growth. With this the plant also begins producing up to 60 percent of its own power with renewable electricity. The engines will be fueled by methane-rich biogas created by the digestion of sewage sludge collected at the treatment plant. By using the methane-rich biogas as fuel in GE’s Jenbacher gas engines, less of the greenhouse gas is able to escape into the atmosphere.