Westfalen power station

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Westfalen power station is an 820-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Westfalia, Germany.

Location

The map below shows the location of the plant in Hamm.

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Background

The original power station consisted of three coal units, units A-C, completed between 1963 and 1969. The first two units of 176 MW each, units A-B, were retired in February 2011. The third unit of 305 MW was retired on March 31, 2016.[1]

Units D-E

RWE proposed two new 820 MW coal-fired units at the Westfalen power station. In 2007 RWE listed the project as one of its major capital investments and anticipated that construction would begin in 2008 and commissioned in 2012.[2]

In April 2008 Power in Europe reported that the construction license for the project had been issued and that "23 municipal utilities have taken 350-MW total stake for 25 years at cost of €450 million." It is planned that the project will be online in 2013. It also reported the claim of outgoing CEO Harry Roels confirms intention to invest at Hamm, on line date now seen in 2013. Roels said it would be profitable for RWE to build coal plants, "even under a scenario of 100% carbon auctioning and a CO2 price of up to €30.00/MWh." It also noted that the environmental group BUND estimated the likely carbon dioxide emissions at 8.6 million tons a year. In December 2005 RWE estimated the cost of the project as being €1.3 billion. Power in Europe also noted that RWE "already operates the Westfalen coal station, with three units commissioned in the 1960s, at the site."[3][4]

The units are scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2014.[5]

Block E went into commercial operation in the summer of 2014. The boiler at Block D has faced technical problems and may never go into operation, according to Renewables International. France’s Alstom built the boiler.[6]

In December 2015 RWE, which lost more than half its market value in 2015, said it wasn’t “economically viable” to complete the US$1.1 billion unit D, which has been dogged by delays and defects including a chemical leak.[7]

Ownership and PPAs

Twenty-three utilities hold 23 percent of the two coal units (the rest is owned by RWE). As part of the agreement, the utilities are to purchase electricity from the coal plants at a price set for 20 years. However, as of 2015 prices on the power exchange are now lower. In July 2015 German media reported that the 23 municipal utilities wanted to sell their stakes in Hamm D and E. Since invisible utilities cross-subsidize other public services (such as public transportation) from profits in the power sector, the power station's losses could mean higher prices for public services.[6]

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. "Coal-Fired Plants in Nordrhein-Westfalen," Industcards, accessed Oct 2016
  2. RWE, "RWE Facts & Figures 2007", RWE website, May 2007, page 137.
  3. "PiE’s new power plant project tracker – April 2008", Power in Europe, Issue 523, April 7, 2008, page 20.
  4. "Westfalen power station - Units D and E" RWE, October 8, 2012.
  5. "Power in Europe," Platts report, Issue 675, April 28, 2014 (subscription only).
  6. 6.0 6.1 "New German coal plant worth one euro," Renewables International, July 29, 2015
  7. "This €1 Billion Power Plant May Never Be Switched on," Bloomberg, Dec 22, 2015

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