Rome, 26 February 2004 Enel today formalized its membership of the Hydrogen Park project which will turn Porto Marghera (Venice) into one of the most important world centres for the production and use of hydrogen, and for the promotion of studies and projects aimed at the development of this precious new energy source.
Paolo Scaroni, Enels chief executive, said: Enels membership of the Venice hydrogen consortium is part of a broader company strategy focused on the environment and innovation. The consortium offers a unique opportunity to bring together industrial plant and infrastructure, present and future hydrogen supplies, and technical and research skills already existing in the area, in a common effort to produce concrete innovative projects of the highest level which will place us at the forefront of sustainable development.
Enel will contribute its experience in this field, in particular in the production of hydrogen from coal. Exploiting logistical and production synergies with existing power plants, Enel has launched a pilot project with the CNR to permit the efficient extraction of hydrogen from the most widely available fossil fuel on the Earth. In particular, in the context of the consortiums projects, Enel will build a high-efficiency, industrial scale combined cycle power plant. The plant will use hydrogen produced both through the gasification of coal in a plant to be built alongside either the Marghera or Fusina power plants, and available as an industrial by-product of the chemical plants in the area. In all, it will take 2 years build.
Porto Marghera is one of the few industrial areas in the world with existing and substantial hydrogen production, linked to the production processes of the chemicals industry, and the infrastructure and technical know-how needed to launch a veritable district for future energy. Hydrogen availability today stands at 4,500-5,000 tons a year, to which production from the future Enel coal plant will be added; enough to propel all of Venices urban and suburban public transport, or to fuel 15,000 cars traveling 10,000 each per year, or an industrial scale power plant.
Every application of hydrogen as an emission-free fuel will be tested in the industrial area adjoining the lagoon. These will include the production of electricity for the grid, heating and air-conditioning for apartment blocks, and fuel for public and private transport.
The project, promoted by the Hydrogen Park Consortium and backed by the Unione Industriali di Venezia, calls for the constitution of a Hydrogen Centre where experiments will be conducted with fuel cells, as well as in the area of hydrogen storage and application techniques. The centre will also work with companies and other bodies interested in research in this field.
Hydrogens strength is that it can be used without producing harmful emissions. Whatever the means of transforming this fuel into energy - thermal and mechanical in turbines and internal combustion engines, electrical in fuel cells - water is always the only by-product.
Enel is also involved in international research aimed at perfecting systems for the sequestration and separation of CO2.