An airport is a complex system of buildings and facilities with costs comparable to, if not higher than those of major sea ports and definitely more difficult to manage. Alongside the runways, the pads and the control and homing centre is a complex system of business and technical facilities which see to the safe and smooth arrival and departure of passengers and cargo: from repair shops to buildings devoted to passenger services, from depots and vehicles for the transport of fuel and baggage to police stations and customs offices, from transport to and from the city to shops, restaurants and bars. All these services require to be designed and arranged in accordance with the plan of the airport which results in a highly complex construction presenting major technical, organisational and design challenges for the companies involved.
The thermal power station that will drive all the services of the new Milano Malpensa airport has been designed and constructed by Bono Energia, a company of the Cannon Group and the leading manufacturer in Italy of industrial boilers, thermal plants and propulsion marine boilers. There has been much talk about the new Malpensa 2000 airport which is destined to become one of the major European hubs of the next century. The project, which is approaching completion, is going to upset the delicate balance of business navigation in central and southern Europe. The number of passengers should rise from the current 2 million to an expected 15 million enabling Malpensa 2000 to compete with the major airports in Paris, London, Düsseldorf and Rome. The sharp increase in the number of passengers requires adequate services and facilities to cater for the needs of those who travel for business or leisure and spend long hours in the transit areas of the airport.
Good air-conditioning in lounges, offices and areas devoted to passenger services is key to ease the tension of long waiting hours and to provide a pleasant setting for those who are required by their business schedule to spend the whole day at the airport. Specifically, the new air-conditioning system of Malpensa 2000 is driven by a Bono Energia thermal station with an installed capacity of 46 MWt. The power requirement of the new Milan airport is roughly equal to the amount of power used by a city district composed of 2,500 medium-sized flats.
Specifically, Bono Energia has been involved in the supply of two gas-turbine recovery boilerseach with an afterburner and a capacity of 23 MWtand a conventional donkey boiler also rated 23 MWt. The exhaust gas emitted by the turbines at 520°C is transferred to the recovery boilers - rated 16 MWt - to produce superheated water at 150°C. The remaining 7 MWt which complete the overall capacity of the system are produced in a natural gas burner, fresh air type. Should one of the two turbines stop working, the donkey boiler would immediately start operating. The superheated water is transferred to a thermal cycle to provide heating/conditioning to all airport facilities.
Bonos equipment has already been mounted and tested at Malpensa 2000 and its construction has been completed in approximately 18 months from the day the order was placed. It is the biggest cogeneration plant installed in an Italian airport and one of the largest in Europe. The value of the plant on a turn-key basis is about 5 billion lira.
Bono Energia has also been asked to supply a district heating plant for Romes international airport which requires an overall capacity of 50 MWt. The company has provided package OIL-MATIC thermal fluid heaters equipped with superheater for the production of superheated water.
In the first six months of 1998, 2 package fluid heaters were installed each with a capacity of 5 MW. At a later stage, 4 additional thermal groups will be installed, each rated 10 MWt, to complete the overall capacity of the plant (50 MWt) and provide some reserve capacity for maintenance. Superheated water at 150°C, with a return temperature of 90°C, is distributed by a network of pressurised systems at 16 bar. The configuration of the system varies: in the middle of winter, the delivery temperature of the superheated water is kept at its peak working value (150°C); in early and late winter and in the other seasons, the delivery temperature varies according to the users to suit major climatic changes.
The plant developed by Bono Energia is currently being installed and tested. Completion is scheduled for early next winter.98/012