Ensdorf power station

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Ensdorf power station is a retired power station in Ensdorf, Saarlouis, Saarland, Germany.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Ensdorf power station Ensdorf, Saarlouis, Saarland, Germany 49.292222, 6.770833 (exact)

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

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 1, Unit 3: 49.292222, 6.770833

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 1 retired coal - bituminous 120 subcritical 1963 2017
Unit 3 retired coal - bituminous 310 subcritical 1971 2017

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 1 VSE AG [100.0%]
Unit 3 VSE AG [100.0%]

Project-level coal details

  • Coal source(s): Ensdorf mine


The plant was built in 1961 by VSE AG (VSE Aktiengesellschaft) with two units, with each one operating at 120 MW each. A third unit, with 310 MW of generating capacity, was added in 1972. Unit 2 was shut down in the mid-1990s. On June 14, 2017, VSE AG announced that it would shut down the power plant (consisting of Unit 1 and 3) on December 31, 2017. The power plant ended up being shut down in mid-December. At that time, the power plan produced around two thousand gWh of electricity annually.

In 2018, VSE AG, the owner and operator of the former Ensdorf plant, announced that it planned to use the area freed up by the closure as an industrial park under the name Energy and Resource Center Ensdorf (ERZ).[1]


Unit 1 belonged to VSE AG, in which RWE Power AG (the second largest energy supplier in Germany) in turn owned a majority stake. Unit 3 belonged to RWE until 2011 and was operated by VSE on their behalf. In 2011 VSE took over this unit together with the company Saarstahl AG, who generated some of the electricity it needed for its own steel production and processing. The companies Saarstahl AG (SAG) and Saarschmiede GmbH Freiformschmiede (SSF) had a lease and management contract for Unit 3, both of which they decided to terminate on December 31, 2017.

Coal Sourcing

The Ensdorf plant obtained its coal from the neighboring Saar mine, which allowed them to operate economically for decades, as the transportation costs for fuel were almost zero. In addition, the plant's combustion chambers were designed for this type of ballast coal. The plant also had a permit to incinerate animal meal, sewage sludge and other alternative fuels. On June 30, 2012, the Saar mine was shut down as the last coal mine in Saarland. (For more on Germany's coal mines, see Germany and Coal.) After 2012, the Ensdorf plant was dependent on imported coal of varying quality.[2]

Citizen Action

For more, see Ensdorf Power Station Expansion.

In November 2006, RWE Power AG announced its intention to build another unit with a capacity of 1600 megawatts at Ensdorf. Investments of around two billion euros were planned for the implementation. Commissioning would take place in 2012.[3] A "Citizens' Initiative for Climate and Environmental Protection" was founded on March 23, 2007 against the planned unit, out of concern for the coal plant's massive effects on the environment of the entire region. The resistance was supported by many other groups and NGOs. The Saarland Doctors Syndicate, an association of around 1,700 medical professionals, also spoke out unanimously against the RWE project at its delegates' meeting at the beginning of July 2007.

The citizens' survey to determine whether or not to build the coal plant was carried out in November 2007. With 70.03 percent of the valid votes, there was a clear majority against the construction of the power plant. The municipal council and RWE accepted the vote.[4] RWE withdrew the permit application immediately after the municipal council's decision.[5] The event attracted nationwide attention as this was the first time in Germany when the construction of a hard coal power plant failed due to a public referendum.

Articles and Resources


  1. "Energy and Resource Center Industrial Park (ERZ)". VSE. 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. Warscheid, Lothar (December 20, 2017). "Im Kraftwerk Ensdorf stehen die Turbinen still". Saarbrucker Zeitung. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  3. RWE Power AG (December 13, 2007). "RWE Power is planning new power plants in Lingen and Ensdorf (press release)". RWE Power AG. Retrieved May 11, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "70 percent against: No power plant in Ensdorf". Saarbrucker Zeitung. November 26, 2007. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  5. RWE Power AG (December 13, 2007). "RWE Power withdraws approval application for power plant project in Ensdorf (press release)". RWE Power. Retrieved May 11, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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.