August 29, 2008

RWE Power Begins Construction of 1,600MW Hard Coal Power Plant in Hamm

RWE Power has begun construction of a new 1,600MW hard coal power plant in Hamm in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The twin-unit power station is expected to go on stream by mid-2011 or early 2012. The units will be able to supply around seven million people with electricity.

This E2 billion plant is expected to have an efficiency rate of 46%, which is about 30% higher than older generation power plants. It also means that carbon emissions for the same amount of electricity generation will be reduced by around 2.5 million tons of CO2 per year.

RWE has said that 23 municipal utilities from the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Lower Saxony and Rhineland Palatinate, who have teamed up to form the Gekko Group, have a stake in this power plant. They have a share of 350MW and the contract will run for a period of 25 years.

The new power plant is expected to be capture-ready with downstream provision for CO2 scrubbing. Should the carbon capture and storage technology be commercially available, potentially from 2020, the CO2 emissions could then be captured and stored.

Juergen Grossmann, CEO of RWE, said: "We need coal to ensure the security of European energy supply. We want to generate power from coal more efficiently. With our state-of-the-art plant in Hamm, we are showing that we have the energy to lead."