ELFE S.A. - Energy Saving and High Efficiency Cogeneration in an Industrial Complex
22 Jun 2015


Phosphoric Fertilizers Industry SA (PFI) was founded in 1961 by the Commercial Bank Group and started operating in 1965 at Nea Karvali in Kavala. In 2000, the two most important fertilizer manufacturers in Greece, PFI and Chemical Industries of Northern Greece SA, merged to form Greece’s largest chemical company. In September 2009, PFI SA was acquired by ELFE SA, a company controlled by a private equity fund.

At present, there is a significant ongoing investment programme in the maintenance and improvement of production divisions, warehouses and packing facilities, at the Kavala plant.

The ELFE site at Nea Karvali, Kavala, consists of the following production plants and facilities:

  • Ammonia Plant (capacity 165.000 MTPY) designed and constructed by KTI Holland (now Technip)
  • Nitric Acid Plant (capacity 230.000 MTPY) classical Dual Pressure process, AN-solution Plant (capacity 280.000 MTPY), both of them designed and constructed by UHDE
  • Nitrogenous Fertilizers (AN/CAN) Plant (capacity 260.000 MTPY) designed by UHDE and constructed under the license from NORSK HYDRO (High temperature Pan Granulation process)
  • Phosphoric Acid Plant (capacity 75.000 MTPY P2O5), SIAPE–CHEMIEBAU-PRAYON technology
  • Two (2) Sulphuric Acid Plants (total capacity 430.000 MTPY), one using HUGO PETERSEN and the second DAVY McKee technology
  • Three (3) Compound (NPK) Fertilizers Plants (total capacity 500.000 MTPY). Two plants are using PEC technology/TVA process and the third is using UHDE – STAMICARBON technology
  • Ammonia sphere (nominal capacity 1.800 MT, usable 1.500 MT)
  • Atmospheric pressure Ammonia tank (capacity 15.000MT) (UHDE design)
  • Four (4) turbogenerators (installed power 21,218 MW)
  • Various facilities for storage of raw materials and final products
  • Two (2) bagging stations for NPK's and AN/CAN fertilizers respectively
  • Autonomous private port for loading/discharging final products and raw materials


  • Installation of a Cogeneration unit (Thermal and Electrical energy) since 1965 (between the first cogeneration unit in operation) using waste heat from Sulphuric Acid Production Unit
  • Progressively, energy saving investments focused on reduction of primary energy use
  • New ammonia plant installation, using as raw material NG instead of oil, with a very low specific energy consumption (among the 10% of the most efficient plant of the world), including cogeneration unit
  • The old sulphuric acid plant replaced by a modern one with a higher energy saving efficiency
  • Installation and operation of 3 additional turbogenerators (saving the 2/3 of electricity used and about 100% of thermal energy used)
  • Installation and operation of a turboset (machine train) using the off gas and the waste heat from Nitric Acid Production Plant producing significant amount of mechanical energy and saving primary energy




  • Excise Duty in NG used as Raw Material (must be excluded according to EC Directive)
  • Extremely high comparative price of NG (above the mean value in Europe)
  • Excise Duty, RES and taxes applied to the own produced electricity (provision for exclusion according to EC Directive)
  • High comparative price of electricity from the grid
  • Absence of State Aid for CO2 cost from indirect emissions (Norway, UK, France, Belgium, Germany etc. have already proceed on)


  • ELFE S.A. is the last Greek fertilisers producer which invests in energy savings and since the beggining of its operation applies Best Available Techniques in this domain
  • Although ELFE achieves very attractive energy performance indicators, the company suffers from Excise Duties, RES and Taxes in energy due to the governmental legislation
  • The European countries recognising the importance of energy adopted the principles of a common policy for NG and electricity and applied measures for supporting the industrial sector
  • Related measures need to be adopted by the Greek government in the framework of European competition rules
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