Westfalen power station - Units D and E

New hard coal-fired units

Two new hard coal-fired units with a total capacity of some 1,600 megawatt are being erected at the existing Hamm power plant site in Westphalia. The most advanced plants of their kind worldwide, they will replace the 160-megawatt units commissioned in 1962/63 and expand the capacity of the site. At the same electricity production, the new plant will require 20% less coal. With net efficiency of 46%, they reduce CO2 emissions by an annual 2.5 million tons compared with legacy plants – an effective contribution to preventive climate protection. In addition, the power plant can later be retrofitted with a flue gas scrubber that permits carbon dioxide to be captured and stored following combustion.

Emissions well below limits

Highly effective precipitator and cleaning plants ensure that the plant either meets or falls well short of the statutory limits for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and dust. To permit later district heating or process steam applications, the new units are designed to allow steam extraction. In this way, RWE is making an active contribution to tapping economically and ecologically sensible energy potentials in the proximity of the power plant location. RWE is investing some two billion euros to this end.

Operated with hard coal and petroleum coke

Like the existing power plant, the new plant will be operated using hard coal and petroleum coke. Petroleum coke is a high-carbon residue from the petroleum industry whose high heating value has been used in power plants for decades. Initially, the plant will be operated in base load, but it may be used in the intermediate-load range or for part-load operation at any time, i.e. in times of increased or reduced electricity demand.

High efficiency

The high steam parameters and the thermodynamic optimization of the steam-water process enable a net electrical efficiency of about 46% to be achieved. Owing to this high efficiency, the specific carbon emissions of the two new units will be about 20% lower than the current average of hard coal-fired power plants in Germany. In addition, the optimized processes of the new plants help optimize the quantities of water withdrawn from and discharged into the Lippe River. The same effect is achieved by systematically reusing water flows.

New plant is integrated

The new twin unit plant is designed such that it can be fully integrated into the existing power plant site and does not consume much additional space outside the power plant. Apart from erecting the two units, plants and system that already exist at the site will continue to be used and be adapted to the requirements of the new hard coal-fired units. For instance, the coal unloading, storage and conveying facilities situated in the vicinity of the old plants will be expanded as needed.

Ideal traffic links

The site is ideally connected to the transport network: the fuels are primarily delivered to the power plant via the Datteln-Hamm Canal. From there, the coal is transported to the coal bins of the steam generators by belt conveyor. Alternatively, the coal can be supplied by railway. In addition to the port at the end of the Datteln-Hamm Canal, the power plant is connected to the railway network of Ruhr-Lippe-Eisenbahngesellschaft, which in turn is connected to the network of Deutsche Bahn via the Hamm railway station.