- NRW Premier Kraft, Federal Minister for the Environment Altmaier and RWE CEO Terium commission lignite-fired power station with optimised plant technology (BoA)
- Over 50% of €2.6 billion invested went to North Rhine-Westphalia / Significant CO2 reduction thanks to state-of-the-art technology
BoA 2&3 was officially commissioned today in Grevenbroich-Neurath near Cologne. With its 43 percent efficiency rating and supreme flexibility, the twin-unit plant with a total capacity of 2,200 megawatts (MW) is the world’s most advanced lignite-fired power station. Premier of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hannelore Kraft, Federal Minister for the Environment, Peter Altmaier and RWE CEO, Peter Terium gave an impressive demonstration of the plant’s flexibility to the over 400 guests. Instead of the usual start signal, they gave the order for a rapid reduction in electricity production. Within five minutes, the output of one unit was reduced by over 150 megawatts – and then equally rapidly restored, demonstrating the power station’s ability to offset the intermittency of wind and solar power. The total investment of €2.6 billion is one of the largest ever made in the history of RWE.
“RWE is doing exactly what the transformation of the German energy industry is all about. We are investing heavily in renewables and in the distribution systems. We are doing much to improve energy efficiency and develop new concepts for grid integration of renewables. And we are modernising our conventional power plant portfolio”, said Peter Terium, adding: “RWE is actively driving the transformation of the German energy industry. BoA 2&3 is an important element of our strategy, for modern coal and gas-fired power stations are indispensable. Unlike wind and solar sources, they are highly flexible and capable of producing electricity 24/7, which makes them the trump card of energy industry transformation.”
“The energy industry transformation decided upon last year is a huge challenge for all areas of society”, said Premier Kraft in Grevenbroich. “To make it a success, everyone needs to pull together: the Federal Government, the states and the municipalities, but also the energy utilities and companies.” She added: “The aim is to generate all electricity from renewable sources. On the path to achieving this, we also need power plants fired by fossil fuels. This includes highly efficient lignite-fired power plants. But lignite firing must become more environmentally friendly. Therefore, commissioning the BoA 2&3 power plant is the right step at the right time as damaging emissions will be avoided and at the same time an important contribution to security of supply will be made.”
Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier said “The new power plant is an impressive example of how the high levels of efficiency of modern coal- and gas-fired power plants not only help to reduce carbon emissions but can also make an outstanding contribution to the success of energy industry transformation.“
Ever since the early design phase of these units, RWE has placed great emphasis on the rapid responsiveness of the plant. Each unit can modify its output by a good 500 MW in just 15 minutes; with a total capacity of 1,000 MW at its disposal, it produces more than 400 wind turbines can, and at a speed that rivals the very latest gas-fired power plants. With regard to carbon emissions, BoA 2&3 produces six million tons less than older plants, while still producing the same volume of power. Some of the older 150 MW plants have already been decommissioned or will be shut down for good by the end of 2012. BoA 2&3 is capable of producing around 16 billion kilowatts of electricity annually, that is enough to meet the needs of over 3.4 million households.
This new plant is a superlative power station in many other respects, too. Some 380,000 cubic metres of concrete were required during the construction phase and 91,000 tons of steel were used to build the facility. The length of cable laid was 2,500 km, which is as far as from Neurath to Moscow. During the peak construction period, up to 4,000 people were employed there on a daily basis, and well over 100,000 people were involved in the project overall. “We have the extraordinary performance of our excellent team to thank for the plant now being on the grid. Our thanks and respect go to all of those people who put so much into getting the job done”, said Matthias Hartung, CEO of RWE Technology. Dr. Johannes Lambertz, CEO of RWE Power, emphasised the positive dialogue process during the entire planning and construction period: “It’s good that we were able to complete BoA 2&3 in harmony with the region” adding: “We awarded over €1 billion of contract work to NRW companies, many of which are based in the heart of the Rhenish region. When it is fully up and running, BoA 2&3 will secure a total of 3,000 jobs with RWE or its suppliers in the surrounding area. This shows we are a reliable partner for the region, both now and in the future.”
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