Rolls-Royce wins contracts to power Rome and Milan airports to self-sufficiency

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Two of Italy’s major international airports - Fiumicino in Rome and Malpensa in Milan - are set to achieve energy self-sufficiency through new Rolls-Royce power plants.

At Malpensa, Rolls-Royce will supply a second 25MW industrial RB211 gas turbine to power an environmentally-friendly electrical generating plant being constructed by the Swiss power systems packager Turbomach.

It will be installed alongside an existing RB211 combined cycle unit to supply the Italian airport with electrical energy, and in addition thermal energy used for air conditioning in the airport terminals.

Fiumicino will have three Rolls-Royce natural gas-fuelled Bergen B-gas engines running alongside the current electrical supply network, considerably reducing costs and reducing the environmental impact by cutting NOx.

They will supply the Rome airport with its electrical energy, the waste heat from the engines being used as thermal energy (superheated water) for air conditioning in the airport terminals during the summer months and for internal heating requirements during the winter.

Giuseppe Ciongoli, the regional director for Rolls-Royce in Italy, said: “The operators of Rome and Milan airports have selected the best option for their individual needs to enable their airports to operate successfully and safely. We are in a unique position in Rolls-Royce, being able to supply customers with the choice of either gas engines or gas turbines.

”Each year, there are hundreds of take-offs and landings by Rolls-Royce powered aircraft at Rome and Milan, so it will be very satisfying to know that we are also helping their safe arrival and departure by providing the power for vital and essential services on the ground”.

Continuous expansion programmes at both Fiumicino and Malpensa has resulted in the need for an energy production plants giving total self-sufficiency of the airports from outside sources. The new Rolls-Royce powered plants, which enter service in 2008, will be capable of providing the additional energy required to meet the increase in passenger numbers.

There is also a requirement for the energy to be produced in a way that benefits the environment. The efficiency of the both the RB211 gas turbine and the Bergen B-gas engines results in a substantial reduction in the level of emissions released to the atmosphere and in energy savings, due to the reduced amount of fuel used compared to other forms of generating plant.

  • Fiumicino, Rome’s main airport, is situated 27kms southwest of the city. More than 30 million passengers are carried by 130 airlines each year.
  • Malpensa Energia was founded in 1992 by SEA (Societa Esercizi Aeroportuali) which runs Milan’s two airports and retains 51 per cent of the capital, and AEM (Milan’s municipal electricity company), the biggest service supplier in the electrical field in Italy, as the minority shareholder with 49 per cent.
  • At full power, the RB211 will provide 25MW of electricity and when coupled with approximately the same amount of power from the original RB211 set, will help to generate electrical power for the airport with any excess being exported to the Italian national grid. The exhaust from the new set will be used to produce steam via a boiler to an existing steam turbine.
  • This additional power, which is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2008, will guarantee a major increase in income for Malpensa Energia, which provides power for Milan’s two airports.
  • The original RB211 Turbomach installation commenced construction in the second half of 2003 and entered service at the end of December 2003.
  • The three Bergen B35:40V20 engines at Rome will each provide 8,500kW (8.5MW) of electrical power in addition to 5,900kW (5.9MW) of thermal output. The overall electrical efficiency of the new plant will be 47 per cent with a thermal efficiency of 33 per cent creating a total efficiency in excess of 80 per cent.
  • Provision has been made in the design of the new power plant for the addition of a fourth Rolls-Royce B-gas engine bringing the total power available to 37MW.
  • Energy from the new installation will help to light each bulb in the terminals and on the runways, every traffic control and check-in computer, each radar and air conditioning panel and all the heat for catering.
  • Rolls-Royce is now supplying engines to provide vital power supplies to airports in Abu Dhabi, Italy (Rome and Milan), Japan, Saudi Arabia and the USA.
  • Over 100 Rolls-Royce gas engines and 18 Rolls-Royce industrial gas turbines are currently operating elsewhere in Italy providing over 350MW of electrical power and over 250MW of thermal energy.
  • Each year Rolls-Royce, in collaboration with its partners, invests around £700 million on research and development, two thirds of which has the objective of reducing the environmental impact of its products and operations. This technology investment is primarily aimed at reducing noise and emissions.

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