Index number 50 /Up-to-Date

First year of operation and maintenance at Mérida biomass plant

Mérida’s biomass plant general view.

Mérida’s biomass plant general view.

Having completed the construction and commissioning of the Mérida biomass plant, in Spain –a turnkey project SENER delivered to the company ENCE–, the engineering and technology group created the company Biomasa Mérida O&M S.L., to provide the operation and maintenance work for the facility’s first two years of operation.

Targets met

Biomasa Mérida O&M S.L. accepted its mission and started work on September 15, 2014, following the signing of the provisional reception of the plant by ENCE. The targets defined at that time were: to achieve excellence in occupational risk prevention, to apply the best industrial practices, and to ensure the production availability and the performance guaranteed in the contract, all the while meeting the client’s needs with appropriate diligence.

With the plant’s first year of commercial operation under its belt, Biomasa Mérida O&M’s balance sheet is very positive, having reached all of its contractual obligations to the client and those set by Biomasa Mérida itself. The plant has achieved an availability of 8,025 operating hours at 100%.

With the plant’s first year of commercial operation under its belt, Biomasa Mérida O&M’s balance sheet is very positive.

The experience SENER gained in operating and maintaining other industrial facilities has been crucial in achieving this, for example the company’s work on projects such as efficient pig manure processing plants and the thermosolar plants of Torresol Energy, which provided it with professionals, work models and operational procedures.

With this foundation, an intense mobilization phase was executed in which the team was selected and hired and then given the tools and procedures they would need to perform their jobs correctly. In addition to this, technical experts from SENER also gave them training courses.

Biomasa Mérida O&M is now starting its second year of operating and maintaining the facility, with contractual obligations more stringent than those from the first year, but now the company has experience that will give added value to its work.


The Mérida plant is a facility that generates power from biomass, with 20 MWe in installed capacity. The plant is equipped with a high efficiency thermodynamic cycle with reheating and regeneration designed by SENER meeting ENCE’s specifications.

The facility consists of a biomass processing and treatment area (PTB in its Spanish acronym) and an area with a boiler and a power island. The PTB consists of a storage area for stocking 15,000 tons of rolls of biomass (tree trunks), with one month of operational autonomy, a crusher that can process 100 tons/hour, a system for screening and separating denser pieces and a biomass chip storage silo for ensuring an uninterrupted supply for the boiler, in addition to all of the conveyor belts that connect the system.

The power island comprises a 64 MWt high-efficiency boiler with a reheater circuit, a dual-body turbine (high and low pressure) with extractors and auxiliary equipment such as a combustion gas filtering system, a system for transporting and storing ashes, water collection and storage systems, and the PTA and PTE treatment plants, for supplying the cycle with demineralized water and for controlling and discharging effluents, respectively.


Mérida’s biomass plant general view.

Copyright SENER 2018