Siemens invests in gas-fired projects

WUSTERMARK, GERMANY - Siemens AG has announced that it has taken a 50 stake in the development of two combined-cycle gas turbine CCGT power plants, investing a combined 1.5 billion euros US $1.9 billion in the power plants, which are expected to begin construction in 2012.

The plants are located in Germany and Hungary and will have a combined generating capacity of 2,080 megawatts MW.

Siemens equity subsidiary Siemens Project Ventures SPV has brokered the deal, which will see the company take a 50 stake in each of the two project companies owned by Swiss project developer Advanced Power AG.

South Energia is in charge of developing the 880-MW CCGT plant in the Hungarian city of Szeged. In May, Advanced Power confirmed that the plant would be constructed in two phases, each adding 440 MW of capacity. The cost of the project is estimated to be 600 million euros US $771 million and the company expects construction to start in 2012. Szeged was chosen for the plant site because it has a large gas-storage facility. The city recently completed a gas-transfer deal with Arad in Romania. The Arad-Szeged pipeline connecting the gas transmission systems of Hungary to Romania was finished in March this year.

The second project is in the Wustermark region of Brandenburg in northeastern Germany and will have a capacity of 1,200 MW when it is commissioned in 2015. The plant is being built by Wustermark Energie, which will now be 50 owned by SPV. Initial permits have been sought, and a full planning application is expected to be made early next year. According to Advanced Power's project manager, Angela Kallabis, the company "is confident" that permission will be granted.

"With the hi-tech gas turbine technology [we will be using], it will be is one of the most modern gas power plants in the world," said Wolfgang Bischoff, managing director of SPV. "To meet the future electricity needs of the region, we want to develop an advanced power plant project that meets the highest technical requirements and environmental standards. The project will strengthen the presence of Siemens in Brandenburg."

Siemens said that the plant will incorporate an air-cooling system with low-noise fans to greatly reduce the amount of local water needed for cooling systems at the plant.



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