The municipality of Balsareny (Barcelona) has just started operating a new biomass boiler and heating network built by the Environment Division of the COMSA EMTE group, which will supply up to six municipal facilities, significantly reducing emissions of carbon dioxide.
The installation has a capacity of 500 KW and will provide heating and hot water for the local nursery school, primary school, third age centre, residential home for the elderly, primary health care centre and town hall. COMSA EMTE was responsible for the construction of the entire network with over 700 metres of underground pipe, the building to house the boiler and the substations at each of the heat consuming facilities. The group will also carry out the maintenance of facilities and the supply of forest biomass to provide the users with thermal energy for the next seven years.
Along with the cost savings, the use of biomass as a substitute for existing fossil fuel will reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by 190 tons per year and will generate new jobs in the region of Bages. Also, wood chip will be extracted from the forests of the municipality to feed the boiler, minimising the risk of fire thanks to the maintenance of the forest environment. It is estimated that each year 200 tons of wood chip will be required, a figure that represents the treatment of 16 hectares of forest.
The opening ceremony, held on 18 October, was attended by the president of the Provincial Council of Barcelona, Salvador Esteve, the mayor of Balsareny, Jaume Rabeya, and the deputy director general of Civic Facilities and Activities of the Department of Social Welfare and the Family from the regional government, Francesc Molina. On behalf of COMSA EMTE, the ceremony was attended by the director general of the Environment Division, Xavier Martí, the director of the Division of Engineering, Technology and Production, Albert Solé, and the project manager, Adrià Ametller.
This project, jointly funded by the Provincial Council of Barcelona and the town council, with a budget of €334,000, is part of the European programme for local assistance in the energy sector (ELENA).