Boxberg power station

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Boxberg power station is an operating power station of at least 2582-megawatts (MW) in Boxberg, Saxony, Germany.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Boxberg power station Boxberg, Saxony, Germany 51.418683, 14.568425 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit R: 51.418683, 14.568425
  • Unit N, Unit P, Unit Q: 51.419696, 14.575308

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit N operating coal - lignite 500 subcritical 1979 2029
Unit P operating coal - lignite 500 subcritical 1980 2029
Unit Q operating coal - lignite 907 supercritical 2000 2038
Unit R operating coal - lignite 675 ultra-supercritical 2012

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit N Lausitz Energie Kraftwerke AG [100.0%]
Unit P Lausitz Energie Kraftwerke AG [100.0%]
Unit Q Lausitz Energie Kraftwerke AG [100.0%]
Unit R Lausitz Energie Kraftwerke AG [100.0%]

Project-level coal details

  • Coal source(s): Nochten and Reichwalde open-cast mine, domestic


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]

New ownership

The power station was sold by Vattenfall to the Czech energy group EPH and its financial partner PPF Investments in September 2016, which created the company Lausitz Energie Kraftwerke AG (LEAG).[5]

Transition to storage

In 2023, LEAG said that by 2040, the company would install between 7 GW and 14 GW of wind and solar energy capacity, along with up to 3 GWh of storage capacity and 2 GW for green hydrogen production, to replace 8 GW of coal power capacity. The Boxberg thermal power plant is the first in line for the switch to renewable energy storage, with plans to make it operational by 2027.[6]

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.[7]

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. Vattenfall (30 September 2016). "Vattenfall completes German lignite business sale". Press release.  “Vattenfall has completed the sale of its German lignite business to the Czech energy group EPH and its financial partner PPF Investments.”
  6. Vujasin, Mihajlo (2023-06-21). "LEAG is transforming coal plant into Germany's largest energy storage system". Balkan Green Energy News. Retrieved 2024-04-10.
  7. German Coal Plant Construction Site Occupied, Greepeace International, October 3 and 4, 2007.

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.