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Vattenfall to convert German coal-fired power plants to run on gas or biomass

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Coal,

Swedish energy company Vattenfall are planning to convert German coal-fired power plants to use gas or biomass fuels to comply with the government’s deadline of phasing out coal-fired power plants.

Vattenfall operates 2.9 GW coal-fired power plants in Germany, including the 1.7 GW Moorburg site that opened in 2015, which provides 80% of electricity needs in the Hamburg district.

Vattenfall board member Tuomo Hatakka told Reuters: “How long Moorburg will run significantly depends on what the coal commission decides.

“We will also examine alternatives for how to shape Moorburg’s future, for example through the use of biomass. We are at a very early stage in this process.”

Some German competitors such as EnBW, RWE and Uniper, have already started to retrofit coal-fired power plants for biomass or gas, or are considering such steps to soften the blow to earnings a shutdown of power stations would entail.

The German government has appointed a commission, which will be making an announcement later this December regarding the phasing out of coal-fired power plants in the country.

One source noted that the coal commission is likely to recommend an end-date for coal plants in the 2030s.

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