Datteln Power Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Datteln Power Station was a 319-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned by E.ON Kraftwerke in Datteln, Germany.

A new 1,100 MW coal plant was put into operation by Uniper on May 30, 2020 amidst protests from German and international environmental groups.[1]

Location

The undated satellite below shows the plant in Datteln.

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Background

The original power plant consisted of three units, units 1 to 3, commissioned in 1964, 1965 and 1969. They were retired in 2013.[2]

Unit 4

Unit 4 is a proposed 1,100 MW coal plant at the power station, to replace units 1-3. After the announcement, Friends of the Earth International filed a lawsuit in hopes of stopping its construction.[3] In July 2006 Power in Europe reported that E.ON decided to proceed with the proposal with construction slated to begin at the end of 2006. A year later the newsletter reported that the company had requested tenders for bids for “specialist building works” to take place May 2008-May 2010.[4]

In 2011 E.ON Kraftwerke reported that the plant was set to begin operation by the end of 2013. However, Germany's federal administrative court in 2010 decided in favor of a regional court ruling against construction of the plant. As of 2011 local planners in favor of the plant were seeking to change procedures.[5]

In December 2015 EON plant said it expected to receive approval by the district government of Muenster to build and operate the Datteln-4 hard-coal plant by January 2016. It may be built within two years of getting its permits.[6]

In March 2018 Uniper stated in its annual report that "the currently planned commercial operation date is not before the fourth quarter 2018. Given pending lawsuits further delays cannot be ruled out." [7]

It also stated that the further delay in commissioning the plant was due to damage during testing to a boiler supplied by a joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Hitachi. Uniper said that the investigation of the damage was taking longer than expected and warned that the December 2018 commissioning date could be pushed back further. Uniper Chief Executive Klaus Schaefer said the investigation was "not a small job, since the boiler has 350,000 welding seams. Of the welding seams that were particularly affected, no fewer than 35,000 need to be inspected individually.” [8]

Later that month a German court ruled that RWE did not have the right to unilaterally cancel a contract it entered into in 2005 and 2006 to purchase 450 MW of power from Uniper’s part-built 1055 MW Datteln 4 plant. The court ruling means that RWE is bound to purchase power from the plant, even though the growth in renewables has pushed the current wholesale market price lower than the price stipulated in its contract with RWE’s.[9]

On May 8, 2018, Uniper issued a press release that stated Datteln unit 4 was now planned for commissioning in 2020: "The first reliable findings now available from the analysis of the extent and root causes of the damage to the boiler of Datteln 4, a hard-coal-fired power plant currently under construction, indicate the necessity to replace rather than to repair the boiler walls. This will further delay the plant’s planned commissioning, which is now expected to take place presumably in summer 2020. This delay made it necessary for Uniper to record an impairment charge on Datteln 4 power plant of around €270 million."[10]

In October 2019 Uniper said it planned to synchronize the plant to the grid in January 2020, and begin commercial operation in summer 2020.[11] Uniper made the announcement despite the recommendations of the coal commission tasked with finding a compromise for a German coal phase-out, which had advised not to allow plants under construction or in planning online.[12]

In May 2020 the plant began operations after an almost 10-year delay to its initial start date, and just four months after Germany released a plan to phase out coal by 2038. Five hundred climate activists were present outside the site to protest the start up and were joined by former miners. Greenpeace projected the slogan "Climate crisis, made in Germany" on to the plant's cooling tower.[1]

Opposition

"Stop Datteln 4!"

Ahead of Uniper's 2020 annual general meeting, a coalition of Finnish and German environment groups and civic leaders published a video clip[13] pointing out that Datteln 4:

  • Will increase CO2 emissions by 40 million tons
  • Will mainly burn imported 'blood coal' from countries such as Colombia and Russia
  • Will damage nature areas protected under European law due to its toxic pollution



Project Details of unit 4

  • Sponsor: Uniper Kraftwerke GmbH
  • Parent company: Uniper
  • Location: Datteln, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • Coordinates: 51.631973, 7.345948 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Gross Capacity: 1100 MW
  • Type: Ultra-supercritical
  • Star year: 2020
  • Coal Type: Bituminous
  • Coal Source: Imported
  • Source of financing:

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Climate activists protest Germany's new Datteln 4 coal power plant," Deutsche Welle, May 30, 2020
  2. "E.ON Facts & Figures," E.ON, March 2015
  3. "Germany: successfully stopping coal-fired power plants" Friends of the Earth International, accessed October 3, 2012.
  4. "PiE’s new power plant project tracker – April 2008", Power in Europe, Issue 523, April 7, 2008, page 19.
  5. "FACTBOX-Controversial German coal-fired power plant projects" Reuters, March 10, 2012.
  6. "This €1 Billion Power Plant May Never Be Switched on," Bloomberg, December 22, 2015
  7. "Germany's Uniper warns that coal plant could be delayed further", Reuters, March 8, 2018.
  8. "Damaged boiler may mean more delays for Uniper coal plant", Reuters, March 8, 2018.
  9. "RWE loses court row with Uniper over delayed coal plant", Reuters, March 12, 2018.
  10. "Uniper reaffirms earnings forecast and dividend proposal for 2018 despite moderate winter quarter," Uniper Press Release, May 8, 2018
  11. "NETZANSCHLUSS FÜR "DATTELN 4" IM JANUAR," Energate Messenger, 29.10.2019
  12. "Govt allows new coal plant to enter service despite phase-out - report". Clean Energy Wire. 2019-10-31. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  13. "Stop Datteln 4!," Hiilivapaa Suomi, May 18, 2020

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