The La Luna thermal power plant received its environmental license on June 27. The project is located between the municipal capitals of El Paso and Becerril (Cesar) and is characterized by having its own coal complex that supplies the ore from the mine to the generation plant.
Why is the La Luna thermal power plant strategic?
It is not only strategic for Sloane, but also for Colombia. And it is developing at a time when the country is looking for new sources of generation that guarantee reliability in the energy matrix.
Sloane established a few years ago that there was an opportunity in the Colombian energy sector for thermal projects under the concept of complementarity. In addition, with the development of one that had different characteristics to the thermal complexes that operated at that time in Colombia. Thus, it focused on executing an initiative that would alternate within the existing energy matrix.
What is the status of the project?
On June 27, the National Environmental Licenses Authority (Anla) granted the environmental license. The project began its development in 2013. But the Talis Capitol Group bought all the assets, including the project, in 2015, and put it into the hands of its Sloane subsidiary. The capital is British.
Why Cesar’s department for its assembly?
After several studies, it was established that it was the best place to set up the complex. The plant will be located two kilometers from the mine, which is underground. 100% is mechanized. The ore will be transported from the gateway by encapsulated bands to the storage yard of the generation plant.
What were the advantages identified for its assembly?
There were several. First, the raw material is located next to the thermal power plant, that is, to assemble a project that does not have additional costs in the transportation of fuel; second, build a reliable complex against any adverse climate event for the country, which would work well in times of the El Niño phenomenon, as well as in La Niña; and third, that it had the highest levels of efficiency with the highest standards of sustainability, environmental and social.
What are the technical characteristics of the project?
With the project we seek to supply the country, in the first phase, with an installed capacity of up to 750 megawatts (Mw), and in a second one, of 375 Mw. It is a thermal plant based on coal, which as a mineral brings many advantages to the matrix. It will have a generation capacity of 680 Mw.
The financial closing is scheduled for the first semester of next year and it would begin to dispatch energy as of January 1, 2023.
Why is the plant process sustainable?
It will be the first plant in Latin America that uses Ultra Supercritical technology. In its process, the volumes of CO2 emissions compared to other coal complexes are 25% less.
If the use of water is compared, cooling towers are not used and instead air-condensing systems are put into operation, with 75% less liquid being consumed.
In addition, its peculiarity is that it has a process where there is no reversion of the liquid to water sources such as rivers. The little water used in the process is crystallized and mixed with the ashes left at the end of the combustion and the product is sold to the cement sector.
From the social point of view, how was the project conceived?
It was conceived as an environmentally responsible project from its vision of sustainability, understanding the conjuncture of the municipalities where it will be located. It started to go from the local to the international. That is, from establishing what is important for communities, regional and national environmental authorities and officials, and what is essential and vital for the country.
After this evaluation, the highest international standards were sought in the development of technologies to control the impacts of coal-based thermal generation.
How will they control possible impacts?
All precautions have been taken with regard to emissions in the surroundings, not only with regard to particles, but also with noise levels. Plants that possess this technology have been visited in several countries of the world, and we have noticed how these complexes can coexist with the communities. The plant will be efficient, non-polluting and friendly to the environment and to the communities.
What will be your consumption in carbon volume?
The plant must receive an average of 60,000 tonnes per month per generation unit (375 MW). The two will consume 1’800,000 tons of coal per year.
We want to start generating energy from this mineral, with state-of-the-art technology and under certain parameters and guidelines required by the Ocde, the COP21 and even a draft that the World Bank will release, setting the parameters of emissions to the environment.
What will the project be like for its connection to the matrix?
The project has already authorized with Grupo Energía Bogotá (GEB) the connection with a transmission line of 500 kilovolts (Kw) from the plant to the La Loma substation, which is 11.5 kilometers.