- 23 February 2020
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All eyes are now on filter-less factory chimneys after the latest round of regulations to reduce carbon emissions approved by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan regarding the 15 thermal power plants operating in 15 different provinces across Turkey.
It is thus obligatory to install filters on chimneys by the end of the year in order to curb environmental pollution resulting from energy production. Some power plants have begun necessary work to comply and have reached the final stages.
If relevant thermal power plants do not take the necessary precautions by the end of December, they will be fined 20 times the normal environmental penalties, and in the case of non-compliance, a process will be launched that could lead to the shuttering of the power plant. Furthermore, the installation of the obligatory filter will be carried out by the ministry and incurred costs will be covered by the relevant thermal power plant operators.
Eco-friendly production begins 19 years later thanks to huge investment
At the time of its acquisition by Albayrak Holding, the factory consisted of filterless thermal plants. However, with a €140 million investment, it reopened its doors 19 years later as Varaka Paper to begin production that is eco-friendly in all sense of the word.
10% of investment goes to filtering
For that purpose, a new filter-equipped cogeneration unit was installed in place of the old plant that was a remnant of the SEKA era. Thus a budget allocated to the filtering and desulphurization system stood at approximately 10% of the total investment at the plant.
Coal burning capacity of 27 tons per hour
With an average production capacity of 150 tons of steam per hour, the plant burns an average of 27 tons of coal to obtain the steam in question. The resulting steam will primarily power the paper production and meet all of the factory’s energy needs. Additionally, in the event of an energy surplus, selling the excess on the market could also be an option.
Factory aims to provide local alternative to paper imports valued at $150 mln annually
Relaunched with the aim of providing a local alternative to the current paper imports valued at $150 million annually, it was thought Balıkesir Paşaköy manufacturing unit could be met with skepticism from concerned locals during the foundation phases, however, it seems as of today everyone is pleased with the outcome.
‘Locals who spot no emissions from the factory think it’s closed’
Despite the fact that tons of coal are being burnt at the power plant, toxic gas and dust emissions are being intercepted and stopped from contaminating the nearby ecosystems thanks to the installed filters. Seven months after its inauguration, townspeople who live near the facility assume the power plant is not currently being operated after almost not being able to spot any emissions from the factory chimney.