Germany plans to build, revamp 84 power plants-BDEW

FRANKFURT, April 23 Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:30am EDT

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FRANKFURT, April 23 (Reuters) - German utilities and private investors have plans to construct or modernise some 84 power stations, energy and water industry association BDEW said on Monday.

The planned projects were equivalent to an installed power generation capacity of 42,000 megawatts (MW), the Berlin-based group said in a statement issued on the first day of the Hanover industrial fair.

It estimated that the projects, taken together, involved investments of more than 60 billion euros ($79.25 billion).

BDEW also said that of the total 84, some 69 units (counting those above 20 MW) were fully or partially approved, being built or test-run. The remaining 15 were at the planning stage.

Of the total number counted by BDEW, 23 units were to be driven by offshore wind, 10 were pumped storage plants, 29 gas-fired and 17 coal-fired generation plants, it said.

BDEW, which represents some 1,800 companies active in supplying power, gas, water and heat, traditionally issues power station plans of its members around April.

The plans this year reflect over a year of debate on how to best replace Germany's nuclear power stations, which must be closed faster than planned in light of the nuclear disaster in Japan in March 2011.

BDEW's managing director Hildegard Mueller said that the plans' realisation mostly hinged on the German government clarifying the future power market design. If this was not done by 2015, especially the would-be investors in thermal power stations might get cold feet and withdraw, it said.

"The increased involvement in offshore wind and pumped storage is a positive signal that the industry is investing in the energy supply of the future," Mueller said.

"But this cannot hide the fact that there are obstacles not just for renewable power but also coal and gas-to-power projects," she added. ($1 = 0.7571 euros) (Reporting by Vera Eckert)

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