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    German coal plant to switch to gas, hydrogen

Summary

Uniper has now agreed to close 2 GW of coal-fired capacity.

by: William Powell

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Complimentary, Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Energy Transition, Hydrogen, Carbon, Gas to Power, Corporate, News By Country, Germany

German coal plant to switch to gas, hydrogen

German utility Uniper is to convert its 345-MW anthracite Scholven C power-station to run on gas after its early closure October 2022, it said July 14. This brings its success in the coal plant capacity closure auctions, hosted by network regulator BNA, to 2 GW.

Gelsenkirchen-Scholven will be redesigned to become a gas and steam plant (CCGT) by autumn 2022 so that it can supply industrial customers with electricity with far lower CO2 emissions. The plant is then to be converted from natural gas to purely green hydrogen use by 2030. 

COO David Bryson said: "We are closing the coal chapter quickly, using gas for the transition and are gradually but consistently [moving] in the direction of hydrogen with zero emissions. That can be a blueprint not only for the district. With the ideas for transforming the location in this structurally weak region, we can set an example for the energy transition. If the change succeeds here in this form, then it can succeed anywhere."

The Scholven power plant, together with its ancillary operations in Gladbeck-Zweckel, Marl, Recklinghausen and Westerholt, supplies the industrial Ruhr region with electricity, district heating and process steam. The three units B, C and the district heating power plant Buer generate a total of 762 MW (net) of electricity. units D, E and F were shut down at the end of 2014.

In the first auction, which began on September 1, 2020, BNA tendered 4 GW; in the second auction on January 4, 2021, it tendered 1.5 GW. The third auction for around 2.5 GW took place April 30. German law sets a deadline of 2038 for its coal and lignite exit.