Boxberg Power Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Boxberg power station is a 2,582-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Saxony, Germany.


The undated satellite below shows the plant in Boxberg, Saxony.

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This mine-mouth plant was East Germany's largest power station. The plant originally consisted of twelve 210 MW units that began operating in 1971. They were all retired after German reunification. Two 500 MW units added in 1979-80, known as Boxberg N and P, were retrofitted with pollution controls in 1992 to 1995 and continue to operate. In 2000, a 907 MW unit was added, known as Boxberg Q. A twin 900-MW unit was planned but not built. In 2012 the 675 MW Boxberg R was commissioned. The power station is owned by Vattenfall. The lignite coal for the power plant comes from the opencast mines Nochten and Reichwalde.[1]

Boxberg R

In 2012 the plant's operator Vattenfall Europe installed additional capacity of 675 MW, fired with lignite. Construction began in April 2007 and was completed by the end of 2012.[2] In 2005 the expansion was estimated to cost €600 million but in 2008 was estimated to cost €800 million,[3] and by 2012 was estimated at about €1 billion.[1]

Vattenfall and coal

According to Vattenfall's 2006 Annual Report: "Investing heavily in fossil fuels when the struggle for climate change is at the top of everyone's agenda may sound like a contradiction in terms. But in today's situation, there are no other realistic alternatives for meeting Germany's energy needs - coal is and will continue to be Germany's dominant source of energy." It also stated that "not far from the power plant is Nochten, Vattenfall's own open-cast mine, where Vattenfall can cost-efficiently extract 20 million tonnes of lignite per year".[4]

Direct Action against Boxberg

Oct. 1, 2007: Greenpeace occupation at Boxberg plant construction site

Beginning October 1, 2007, 34 activists occupied the construction site of Boxberg Power Station. The activists, 10 of whom remained camped atop cranes on the site for 60 hours, demanded that Vattenfall, the utility sponsoring the plant, stop building coal plants and instead invest in renewable energy. A giant banner hung from a crane read: "Vattenfall: Stop building! Climate protection instead of brown coal!" Six smaller banners reading "Stop CO2" hung from other cranes. 20 volunteers painted "Stop CO2" onto a smokestack under construction.[5]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Vattenfall Europe AG
  • Parent company: Vattenfall
  • Developer:
  • Location: Boxberg, Görlitz, Saxony, Germany
  • Coordinates: 51.419696, 14.575308 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Capacity: 2,582 MW (N&P: 500 MW, Q: 907 MW, R: 675 MW)
  • Start date: 1970 (N), 1980 (P), 2000 (Q), 2012 (R)
  • Type: Subcritical (N&P), Supercritical (Q), Ultra-supercritical (R)
  • Coal Type: Lignite
  • Coal Source: Nochten and Reichwalde opencast mines
  • Source of financing:

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Coal-Fired Plants in Germany: Sachsen and Sachsen-Anhalt," Industcards, accessed April 2016
  2. "Boxberg" Vattenfall's Power Plants, accessed October 4, 2012
  3. “PiE’s new power plant project tracker – April 2008”, Power in Europe, Issue 523, April 7, 2008, page 17
  4. Vattenfall, " Building the new generation of colfired power plants", Vattenfall 2006 Annual Report, accessed July 2008
  5. German Coal Plant Construction Site Occupied, Greepeace International, October 3 and 4, 2007.

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