(AGI) Milan, Sept 25 - An Enipower co-generation plant inBolgiano in northern Italy was launched on Friday. The ceremonywas attended by the Mayor of San Donato Milanese AndreaChecchi, Eni Midstream Gas&Power Chief Officer Umberto Vergineand Enipower CEO Daniele De Giovanni. The plant is the third ina district heating project begun by Enrico Mattei in 1955, whenthe village of Matanopoli and Eni's first offices weredesigned. Now as then, the plants run on natural gas andproduce electricity transmitted through the national (60 MW)network to provide heating for a large part of San DonatoMilanese, private homes, public properties and Eni's managementHQ. The district heating network connected to the plant hasbeen extended and upgraded to handle higher volumes of water.When the work is complete in 2018 the network will be 37 kmlong and will make San Donato Milanese a leader in thermalenergy per person. The original network covered 5 km and by2000 grew to 22 km. The new plant and district heating networkwere designed to integrate as closely as possible with theregion and provide the highest possible level of energyefficiency by applying the best technology during planning andconstruction. This ensured emission levels conformed tolegislation and achieved cutting-edge standards and excellencyon national electricity generation. "District heating began atSan Donato in 1955," said Umberto Vergine, "and it is thereforealmost certainly the first of its kind in Italy [it began inBrescia in 1972], and certainly the first to employ naturalgas. The first plant used a traditional boiler plus a 1 MW gasturbine to supply energy and heat to the first office andresidential blocks." The San Donato district heating system,with the 1982 plant, extensions and the new complex, suppliesenergy to 4,000 flats, a hospital, schools, churches, town halland the Eni buildings. "With the installation of the newgeneration gas turbine and exothermic gas engines we haveachieved a 9 percent increase in overall performance and a 29percent increase in electricity efficiency. The projectprovides improved heat distribution, with reliability andcontinuity of supply and an improved network in terms ofservice guarantee, stability and diffusion. The issue of theenvironment was paramount, with top technological andengineering solutions utilised to minimise air emissions. Thenew plant ensures that emissions remain below the legal levelsin the region, guaranteeing excellent eco-friendly standardsnow and in the future," said Mr Vergine. (AGI). .