Duisburg-Huckingen power plant
The Huckingen power plant is located directly on the banks of the Rhine to the south of Duisburg on the grounds of Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann GmbH (HKM). HKM – one of Europe's leading steel, sheet-metal and pipe makers – produces approximately five million tons of crude steel a year. The high-calorific coke-oven gas emerging in the coking plant as well as the lower calorific value blast-furnace gas produced in large quantities during the metallurgical process are taken over as fuel gases by the Huckingen power plant and utilised to generate electricity and steam. In return, the ironworks (Hüttenwerke) are supplied with power and steam. Since January 2014 the plant is owned by Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann GmbH, but operated by RWE Generation.
Initial synchronization in 1975
After a construction period of approximately two years, Unit A was first synchronized with the interconnected grid in September 1975. A year later, the duplicate Unit B was commissioned. The units are designed for an electric output of 320 MW each. Originally planned as a power station to convert the blast-furnace gas into electricity and for output control using natural gas, its remit has changed over the years. Since 1995, the coke-oven gas has been delivered in separate pipes and combusted via separate burners in the steam boiler.
Both units utilised
Between 1998 and 2000, only one of the two units was deployed to utilise the industrial gases. Since the liberalisation of the electricity market, the second unit has been employed as control reserve or to cover peak loads. Since 2002, the steam-boiler systems have been modified to improve their environmental performance, and are now being utilised approximately 30% more thanks to the blast-furnace gas quantity which has increased due to stepped up steel production. Today, natural gas is only used to power up the system or in short-term disruptions to the blast furnaces or the ironworks and in the event of unusual bottlenecks in power generation.