The station is located in Austria below the Tauern mountains in Mittersill municipality.
The aim is to generate electricity from the kinetic energy produced by the flow of crude oil down the vertical drops of the pipeline. The power station produces enough energy to satisfy the needs of 3000 families.
Mittersill, 22 September 2018 – Crude oil turns into electricity: yesterday TAL Group, the company that transports crude oil across the Alps from Trieste to Austria and Germany, inaugurated a unique power plant: on the Salzburger side of the Felbertauern the first electric power plant in the world that recovers the energy produced by the flow of crude oil inside the pipeline, in a downhill run below the Tauern mountains. The plant – that follows the same principle of hydroelectric power plants, produces energy using the flow of crude oil – can supply 12% of the energy that TAL uses in Austria.
Built with an investment of 11 million euros, the plant is located 1,335 metres above sea level in the municipality of Mittersill, and was completed in 3 years. “Thanks to this project, unique in the world, the TAL Group will contribute to reduce its environmental impact, increasing its energy efficiency” said Alessio Lilli, General Manager of TAL Group. The official opening took place yesterday at the foot of the Tauern mountains with the participation of the President of Salzburg regional government, Brigitta Pallauf and Wolfgang Viertler, Mayor of Mittersill.
Moreover, the power station built at the foot of the Tauern lies within a Nature Park, a beautiful green area in Central Europe: the building that contains the plant blends harmoniously with the surrounding natural landscape.
One of the greatest challenges for the transalpine pipeline is climbing over the Alps: the overall elevation gain is 1,600 metres. Head of the project Markus Mühlmann of TAL Group explained that the challenge was to recover the energy produced in the downhill runs: in order to transform the energy of the crude oil into electricity, TAL installed a Francis turbine inside the pipeline for the first time in the world. The turbine was produced by the world leading Austrian company Global Hydro.
The power plant generates 11.5 GWh per year that will be returned to the utility grid of Salzburg AG: the energy produced can meet the needs of 3,000 families. The design of the facility was carried out by ILF Consulting Engineers Austria GmbH.