November 8, 2005

New coal technology could help climate-German Steag

FRANKFURT, Nov 8 (Reuters ) - Raising efficiency at
coal-fired power plants to state-of-the-art levels could help
the world meet climate protection targets, German coal-based
generator Steag said on Tuesday.

"Using available and economically possible technology, all
existing coal blocks could reach reductions of carbon dioxide
(CO2) by 30 percent," said board chairman Alfred Tacke of
Steag, part of the RAG group, in a speech for the Hard Coal Day
2005 in Essen.

"These energy savings or emissions reductions would be
sufficient to reach the Kyoto target for all industrial

The average efficiency rate of coal plants which supply
just over 20 percent of the world's power and heating
requirements is 31 percent while latest projects can reach 45
percent, Tacke said.

"Obviously, this is a theoretical calculation, but it shows
that a significant CO2 savings potential can be realized
already today," he said.

Signatories to Kyoto committed themselves to vast cuts in
CO2 equivalents in a bid to combat global warming which
scientists link to CO2 emissions, where coal-burning for power
production is the leading pollution source.

Germany, which within the EU bloc must achieve the bulk of
required emissions cuts under Kyoto, must also replace 40
percent of its 100,000 MW power stations by 2030 mainly because
of their age and in order to replace nuclear energy.

Coal generation plants were more expensive to build than
gas-fired stations but gas was far more expensive and less
freely available, Tacke said.

Global coal production in 2004 rose 7 percent over 2003 to
4.6 billion tonnes and trade expanded by 13 percent to 755
million, he said.

Germany imported 62 percent of its total requirements, or
44 million tonnes.

Steag plans to build a 750 megawatt (MW) coal plant at
Duisburg-Walsum by 2010 and said in the summer it was also
considering building another 750 MW block at Herne to come on
stream in 2012.