the induced employment generated
by Hera in 2018
million euro
for innovation and digitalisation,
22 projects in smart city, circular
economy and data analytics
reused soil
in projects implemented in 2018

Again in 2018, the absolute specific emissions of the Imola cogeneration plant remained at extremely low levels: The environmental authorization for the Imola plant requires pollutant limits 75%/80% lower than national regulations for the pollutants most present in the flue gases (NOx and CO).

In 2018, the Imola Cogeneration Plant, with its 80 MW of electrical and 65 MW of thermal power, produced 122,628 MWh of thermal power and 233,974 MWh of electricity.

238,647 m3 of industrial water were consumed, of which 162,238 m3 were used to replenish the cooling tower, in compliance with the 210,000 m3 authorized by the EIA for that year.

Atmospheric emissions from the Imola cogeneration plant
mg/Nm3 National limiti Authorized limit 2016 2017 2018
Nitric oxide 60 15 8.2 9.3 10.0
Carbon monoxide 50 10 1.2 1.0 2.2
Ammonia slip not required 2.5 0.35 0.40 0.45
Total particulate matter not required 5 0.01 0.01 0.01
PM10 not required 1 <0.04 <0.04 <0.04

The authorized emission limits are those set by the environmental compatibility decree issued by the Ministry of the Environment, Land and Sea DEC/DAS/2006/00142 of 15 February 2006 (only NOx, CO and NH3) and the Integrated Environmental Authorization of the province of Bologna of 11 April 2007, reference no. 124043, as amended. The values are the average continuously-measured values (for PM10 the values are the average of the 8 analyses carried out). The limits reflect the hourly average (except for PM10).

The Imola plant, used for district heating, stands out not only for its excellent performance in terms of energy production but also from an environmental perspective since its low atmospheric emissions were achieved while also saving a significant amount of energy. The trend in average monthly concentrations of some pollutants (e.g. carbon monoxide) shows a slight increase compared to previous years, due to some combustion problems on the gas turbines. However, these concentrations remain far below the authorized limits, which are already considerably lower than the limits set by national rules.

In 2018, following the outcome of the Energy Audit carried out on the plant, energy efficiency actions continued, achieving an overall consumption reduction of 978 toe.

In addition, action was also taken at the Imola cogeneration plant to reduce water consumption. In fact, a tank was built to recover waste water from the recovery boilers to be reused in the evaporative cooling towers, thus reducing the volume of water needed for replenishment, saving 40,551 m3 overall. However, this operation caused an increase in the water used to cool the recovery boilers themselves (+27,657 m3 compared to 2017), which contain water at very high temperatures. The overall reduction in water consumption was therefore 12,894 m3 (-5% compared to 2017).