Water & Wastewater Asia May/Jun 2018

WATER & WASTEWATER ASIA May / June 2018 28 / FROM THE GROUND D e v e l o p i n g n e w sustainable, ecologically acceptable technologies f o r h e a t i n g a n d cooling domestic and commercial premises have been challenging the resources of many energy companies around the world. Harnessing the potential of the sun, sea tides and currents, wind and heat trapped deep beneath the earth’s surface have all proved to be successful technologies to varying degrees. To these can be added the thermal energy of the sea. The sea provides enormous potential as an energy source for the world’s population that lives within 100km of the coastline. This has not gone unnoticed by ENGIE Group, which has developed energy from tides and currents around the world. Now, it has turned its attention to the calorific energy of the Mediterranean Sea by turning it into space heating and cooling with the construction of a generation plant in Marseille Harbour. Called the Thassalia Marine geothermal project, the € 35 million plant is a first of its type in Europe and will eventually provide a sustainable energy source for 500,000m² of buildings in the new Eco-Cité Euroméditerranée, currently the largest urban renewal operation in Southern Europe. Eco-Cité Euroméditerranée occupies 480 hectares in the heart of the Marseille — between the commercial port, the Old Port, and the TGV station — and offers housing, shops, hotels, restaurants, commercial premises, public services and cultural facilities. The development of the Thassalia plant is central to the Eco-Cité Euroméditerranée with it being given HQE (High Quality Environment). As a referral project for renewable energy due to the recovery of about 70 per cent of the marine thermics/frigories, Thassalia has an extremely high energy efficiency coefficient as compared to an equivalent infrastructure equipped with stand-alone heating air conditioning units. The result is a 70 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for the eco-city, plus a 40 per cent reduction in electricity consumption and 65 per cent reduction in water consumption. The Thassalia Plant The development of the Thassalia plantby theEngieGroupcommenced in 2010 and brought together the expertise of its subsidiaries ENGIE Coffley and Climespace. In fact, working with ENGIE Group right from the very start was KSB France, which supplied pumps, valves and the engineering resources of its services agency based in Aix-en- Provence. Operationally launched in 2014, the plant was inaugurated on 17 October 2016. The basic premise of the project concerns the creation of a hot and cold water network throughout the Euroméditerranée perimeter. It is innovative in several ways. Firstly, Thassalia is a thermo-refrigeration plant that delivers heating and cooling, where most often the networks in France are separated. Secondly, energy is drawn from seawater, and lastly, it is the first European project to circulate heating and cooling throughout the whole of an eco-city of this magnitude. By Bryan Orchard