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    Uniper, Wartsila Switch German Plant to Gas


The quick-start plant will be less efficient than a CCGT but better suited to offsetting gaps in renewable power generation.

by: William Powell

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Uniper, Wartsila Switch German Plant to Gas

German utility Uniper and Finnish technology firm Wartsila are to build a gas-drive power plant for Bremen, using nine gas-drives, which will significantly contribute toward converting SWB's energy generation from hard coal to natural gas. SWB said May 13 the plan was "the optimum combination of climate protection, availability and cost-effectiveness."

The facility has a planned generating capacity of 105 MW and it will also supply the district heating system with 93 MW of thermal output. The project will get underway as soon as emission approvals have been issued. This is expected in the near future, Uniper said May 13.

The 31SG drive technology (pictured) is specifically designed for variable power generation, and can react within seconds to balance power generation and demand, thereby facilitating, for example, the integration of larger volumes of volatile power from renewable sources with no risk of downtime. The reciprocating engines are however not as efficient as combined-cycle turbines.

 The conversion from coal to gas will allow  SWB to cut CO2 emissions by up to three quarters. The construction of co-generation plants (CHP) is also an important element in de-centralising power generation. 

The engineering division at Uniper will serve as general contractor in overseeing all aspects of the project while Wartsila will supply all the technical components for the nine generation units and following start-up assume responsibility for repair and maintenance of the plant with guaranteed plant output.