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To regenerate a former industrial district in a way

that also makes it a laboratory for new ideas,
particularly in terms of the heating and cooling infrastructure.


  • 58%

    reduction in the use of
    fossil fuels

  • More than 90 large

    buildings have been connected to
    the heating and cooling networks

A pioneer in urban transformation, Barcelona launched a project beginning in the 2000s to regenerate 200 hectares of derelict industrial land. With innovation firmly on the agenda, the 22@Barcelona project now uses a new centralised system that draws on energy recovered from a waste-to-energy incineration plant.

ENGIE is the majority shareholder in the Districlima company, which has been developing Barcelona’s urban heating and cooling distribution networks since 2004 in the Forum and 22@ districts. Districlima has a production plant at Forum that uses steam from an urban waste incineration plant, with additional cooling provided by chillers that are seawater-cooled. It also has a second production plant, called Tanger, located in the 22@ district.



New infrastructure for smart districts

As part of their urban renewal program, and the regeneration of 22@ in particular, Barcelona’s authorities want to equip the city with advanced infrastructure. Fresh thinking is being brought to the issues of district heating, cooling and water networks, along with waste management and telecommunications. Throughout this process, the authorities’ technical choices have been guided by the twin themes of energy efficiency and the sustainable use of natural resources. The district has been equipped, for example, with a pneumatic system for selective refuse collection and a network of underground tunnels that will enable service teams to repair/improve utility networks without having to dig up the roads.

the increase in energy efficiency

compared to traditional networks

Generating electricity from the resources available

Located in the Forum area, TERSA was the first plant built by Districlima to provide heating and cooling for buildings, using steam produced by the incineration of urban waste. The rest of the cooling is provided by electric chillers that draw on seawater, thereby avoiding the need to build cooling towers – with all their associated visual/noise impacts.

A second, advanced plant

Districlima’s second plant, Tanger, is designed to guarantee energy supplies during periods of high demand. It has an advanced cold storage system that allows energy to be produced during periods of low demand, then stored, and later distributed when demand is high. The gases produced by boiler combustion are expelled through the chimney of a former textile plant – a local landmark that has been preserved and reused by the new development.

And tomorrow ?

The number of buildings supplied by Districlima’s heating and cooling networks continues to increase. The Hospital del Mar has recently been connected as part of the building’s renovation and expansion program, resulting in a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Engie Today teams for barcelona

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