Your settings for cookies and pixels on

Select which cookies and pixels we are allowed to use. Please note that some cookies are necessary for technical reasons and must be enabled in order to maintain the functionality of our website. If you would like to benefit from every service on our website, please consider that you need to choose every cookie category. For more information, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

    • Maintain the stability of the website.
    • Save your log-in data.
    • Allow to improve the user experience.
    • They provide advertisements that are relevant to your interests.
    • They allow you to share interesting content directly with your social media network.

You can change your cookie and pixel settings on at any time via our Privacy Policy.


Show Details
Select all Confirm selection
RWE Image

Waste-to-energy plant

Essen-Karnap waste-to-energy plant

Facts and figures

Power plant location Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia
Power plant type Waste-to-energy plant
Commissioned in 1987
Fuel Household waste, similar commercial waste, bulky waste
Electrical output (net) 38 MW
Flue gas cleaning Electrostatic filter, flue gas desulphurisation, activated carbon absorber, flue gas denitrification system 

Top in Germany

The Essen-Karnap waste incineration plant is an integral part of the North Rhine-Westphalian waste management plan. The waste generated by the cities of Essen and Gelsenkirchen alone takes up over 50% of the available incineration capacity at the plant. The energy generated during the thermal processing of the waste is used for district heating and electricity generation, thus saving on resources. The Essen-Karnap incineration plant is among the top energy converters of all waste incineration plants in Germany.

A tradition of almost 80 years

Karnap has been a power plant site for almost 80 years. Waste incineration started in the early 1960s, after the former hard-coal-fired power plant had been converted. The old plant was decommissioned in 1987 and replaced with a modern waste-to-energy plant. Today, the three boilers from the first construction stage in 1987 and the fourth boiler from the second construction stage (commissioned in 1993) can incinerate in excess of 700,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste per year. This makes the waste-to-energy plant in Essen one of the largest of its type in Germany.

Long-term environmental protection is guaranteed

In line with new environmental regulations, new cleaning stages were added to the flue gas scrubbing equipment in 1995 and to the waste water treatment system in 1998. This ensures comprehensive protection of the environment. The calorific value generated during the incineration of non-recyclable waste in the plant amounts to 130 MJ/s for the district heating grid in the Ruhr area and up to 50 MW of electricity. Most of the residues from the incineration process are recycled. 

RWE Image RWE Image

You might also be interested in

Salzbergen thermal waste treatment plant

Steam from household waste

Read more

Duisburg-Huckingen power plant

Electricity and steam from smelting gases

Read more

Ludwigshafen CCGT plant

Reliable supplier of gas and electricity

Read more