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  • Herne’s new power plant takes delivery of its heart

    600-tonne crane inserts gas turbine in STEAG’s new-build plant

    Herne/Essen. After an eleven-day waterway journey from Berlin to Herne, the gas turbine for STEAG’s new power plant arrived on Monday and was placed in the boiler house by a crane. The 457-tonne heart of the environmentally friendly plant was manufactured at the Siemens Energy gas turbine works not far from Berlin’s Westhafen. The installation of the turbine at the new power plant in the middle of the Ruhr area marks another important milestone along the road to its scheduled start-up by the summer of 2022.

    Other turbine parts and components for the boiler system will be delivered via the Rhine-Herne canal over the coming weeks, then being installed one after the other. “The steam turbine, the generator and some individual turbine parts have been manufactured at the nearby Siemens Energy plant in Mülheim an der Ruhr. They will arrive here by ship over the next few days, as will the Chinese-built boiler system,” STEAG project manager Kai Uwe Braekler reports. The dismantled boiler system will be shipped to Rotterdam by sea, he explains, where it will then be loaded onto inland vessels for transporting to Herne.

    “In total,” says Kai Uwe Braekler, “about 15 heavily loaded ships delivering power plant components will be calling at our construction site in Herne before the year is out.”

    On schedule despite coronavirus
    The upcoming deliveries give grounds for satisfaction in Herne. “It means we’ve moved a big step closer to achieving our goal of putting the new CCGT plant into operation by the summer of 2022,” Kai Uwe Braekler points out, adding that it represents a huge success for all those involved, particularly in view of the considerable restrictions on world trade due to the coronavirus pandemic that has been raging since the beginning of the year, first in parts of China and then worldwide.

    Project partner Siemens Energy is also pleased: “The punctual delivery and installation of the gas turbine testifies to the good working relationship that is characteristic of the cooperation between the partners in this groundbreaking power plant project for the Ruhr area,” Frank Wesler, project manager at Siemens Energy, remarks.

    New gas-fired power plant will secure district heating supply
    The new CCGT plant in Herne is highly significant for STEAG in several respects. “For one thing, it will enable us to secure a climate friendly district heating supply for more than 200,000 households in the Ruhr area in the medium and long term,” says Joachim Rumstadt, Chairman of the Board of Management of STEAG GmbH. “We are delighted at what we have achieved so far in these particularly challenging times, and are spurred on by this success to get the power plant online on time, on budget and with a high standard of quality.”

    Facts and figures
    The plant will operate according to the principle of combined heat and power generation (CHP), reaching capacity of just over 600 megawatts (MW) of electricity and 400 MW of heat. This resource-saving technology results in fuel efficiency of 85 per cent.

    In the longer term, the new CCGT in Herne will replace a hard coal unit currently still operating at the site. This will enable a further cut in STEAG’s CO2 emissions in the future, with the Essen-based energy company already having achieved a lasting reduction in its emissions by almost 80 per cent between 1990 and 2020.