EnBW cancels German coal-fired plant

DOERPEN, GERMANY - Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW) has pulled the plug on a planned 900-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Doerpen, in Lower Saxony, Germany.

The reason cited by EnBW and Swiss partner BKW FMB Energie AG was the loss of a potential partner that had agreed to buy long-term heat from the steam generated at the cogeneration plant. Without the ability to implement a combined heat and power facility (CHP) at Doerpen, both companies have said that the plant will not be economical to build. The cost of the project was estimated to be 915 million euros (US$1.35 billion), and both companies claimed the plant would have been one of Europe's most efficient coal-fired plants.

Building coal-fired plants is becoming much more difficult because of financial burdens, difficulties in obtaining planning permission, and emissions penalties. German energy major E.

ON AG only recently won a court battle to have work restart on the company's nearly complete Datteln coal-fired plant, while in the UK the company has deferred plans to built a 1,600-MW coal-fired plant at the Kingsnorth site in Rochester, England.

In a statement released to the media, BKW said: "The project company STKW Energie Dörpen GmbH & Co. KG, which was set up to develop the coal-fired power plant in Doerpen, Emsland and in which EnBW holds a 75.1% interest and BKW a 24.9% interest, is discontinuing its planning work. In addition to electricity production, the partners and the municipality of Doerpen believe that the co-generation of heat is a key requirement for the implementation of the coal-fired power plant. Since Doerpen-based Nordland Papier has rejected both a share in the power plant and the offer of a long-term heat supply contract and announced the intention to pursue its own gas-fired power plant project, there is no longer any viable basis for taking the project forward."

EnBW said: "Project works for the development of the coal-fired plant in Doerpen will not be pursued any further. The simultaneous cogeneration of heat and power is an essential condition for the possible realization of the power plant project in Doerpen, for both ecological and economic reasons. Further project development has no basis anymore, after an industrial company, a potential heat customer, announced plans that it will not purchase process heat from the planned coal plant, but instead will build and operate their own gas-fired cogeneration power station."

The Nordland Papier paper mill was a key part of the coal-fired plant's future. The company is one of Europe's largest European production facilities for fine paper and employs more than 1,600 people. The company has announced plans to create its own gas-fired power plant instead.


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