January 25, 2011 / 3:33 PM / 9 years ago

FACTBOX-Controversial German coal-fired power plant projects

(Updates Staudinger, Moorburg)

Jan 25 (Reuters) - The following list shows the status of new coal-fired power plant projects in Germany, which are the focus of environmentalists’ campaigning against climate-harming carbon emissions from the coal-to-power generation process.

Plants in the locations listed in alphabetical order have attracted opposition.

Latest updates are marked ***


Vattenfall Europe [VATN.UL] will replace a heat plant with gas and biomass feedstock rather than hard coal.


GDF Suez GSZ.PA has abandoned plans to build an 800 MW plant for 2012 at Brunsbuettel on the North Sea. It cites planning delays, lack of planning security and the absence of a partner. Local environmental groups had opposeed its plans. But the company is well into building a coal plant of the same size also on the German North Sea, at Wilhelmshaven.

There is also opposition to plans by Tuebingen utility Suedweststrom to build two coal blocks of 900 MW each in Brunsbuettel for a later date, where a decision is due in the early autumn of 2011.


E.ON (EONGn.DE) officially expects to start a 1,050 MW coal-fired plant in 2012, instead of 2011. Germany’s federal administrative court in 2010 decided in favour of a regional court ruling against construction.

Local planners in favour of the plant are seeking to change procedures which could give the project a second chance. The former state government tried to change planning laws to accommodate the plant, on which E.ON has spent 800 million euros ($1.09 billion) already, but it was voted out. E.ON says the plant will create jobs and supply power to German railways, encouraging car petrol savings. If unsuccessful, it might not be able to to replace older, more polluting plants with state of the art technology.


EnBW (EBKG.DE) and Switzerland’s BKW BKWN.S abandoned a plan for a coal plant, saying local buyers preferred gas.


The city utility has abandoned plans for a new 400 MW coal block in favour of gas. A decision is due in first half 2011.


Denmark’s Dong [DONG.UL] last October gave up a plan for a coal plant at Emden and since says it favours gas plants.


Vattenfall Europe CEO Tuomo Hatakka said to Reuters the huge coal plant project remains core to the company and shows its commitment to Germany after it settled a long disagreement with water authorities over tough environmental conditions.

Last month, it won approval earlier this month for a 200 million euro cooling tower to reduce water intake, too much of which could endanger wildlife. This removed remaining obstacles that had blocked progress on permissioning for two years. But it will curb the profitability of the plant, and markets and transmission lines will have to be created to absorb and distribute the surplus heat.


RWE (RWEG.DE) has put off plans for its first commercial size (450 MW) plant project using carbon capture and storage.


Plans for a project to replace an existing nearly 40-year old coal block were shelved by the city and partner E.ON.


Utility network Trianel, which is already building a 750 MW coal plant at Luenen, got approval for another one at Krefeld a year ago. It aims to obtain building permits in the first quarter of 2011 and to take a final decision in the spring. But the political environment has changed to a Conservative-Green coalition, which is internally at loggerheads over a number of infrastructure plans. Green campaigners have criticised calculations presented by Trianel when it first bid for Luenen and are asking a local court to block the next tranche. The next decisions are due in mid-February.


Dong has pulled out of plans for a 1,600 MW plant in Lubmin on the Baltic Sea for 2012, citing lack of political support. [ID:nDKT004778] The project firm is looking for new investors to build gas fired blocks. The media say E.ON and EnBW may be keen.


The ruling local coalition has shelved for good a plan for a new 800 MW hard-coal fired plant on the banks of the Rhine.


Utility MVV (MVVGn.DE) and its power plant unit GKM have started building a 1.2 billion euros coal unit for start up in 2013. Executives have dismissed complaints by environmentalists. MMV’s annual report issued Dec. 30 said that after Mannheim, there will be no further coal-to-power expansion in the group which will focus more on waste-to-power and energy services.


Dow Deutschland and EnBW abandoned a plan to build a plant at the Dow site in North Germany. Separately, E.ON is still pursuing a project of its own at Stade, which used to be home to a now idled nuclear power plant, while GDF Suez abandoned another seperate coal project it had nurtured.


The cities of Hanau, Alzenau and Hainburg have decided to complain in court about permission for E.ON to start with preparatory work for a new coal-fired block (Number 6) at its power station at Hanau, near Frankfurt. The permit, issued last month, includes a cooling power and boiler housings for a planned 1.2 billion euro project which is meant to start up form 1,100 MW by 2013. This is planned to replace three old blocks at the site that must shut in 2012.

Public controversy about the project has already caused E.ON’s co-investor, the Hanover city utility, to pull out of its obligation to share minority parts of the cost. The city governments say they believe noxious emissions from the new plant will be too high. E.ON said the emissions will be 20 percent below the combined levels form the old blocks. It says it will be mindful of the opposition before committing to the investment, especially now that the group is also looking for investment opportunities in overseas markets.

A separate listing of known German coal and gas plant projects can be seen by clicking on [ID:nLDE63I0WK] and one showing renewable power projects on [ID:nLDE63I1BG].

Reporting by Vera Eckert

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