Maasvlakte Power Station (Uniper)

From Global Energy Monitor

Maasvlakte Power Station is a coal- and biomass-fired power station in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, owned and operated by Uniper.


The undated satellite photo below shows the power station in Rotterdam.

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Uniper
  • Parent company: Fortum
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,100.0 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 603.0 MW (1988), Unit 2: 603.0 MW (1987), Unit 3: 1,100 MW (2016)
  • Location: Coloradoweg 10, Havennr 8210, 3199 LA, Maasvlakte Rotterdam, South Holland, The Netherlands
  • GPS Coordinates: 51.958734, 4.027208 (exact)
  • Technology: Ultra-supercritical
  • Coal Type: Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Mixed Imports
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: Units 1 and 2 retired in 2017, Unit 3 needs to retire or switch fuel before the end of 2030.[1]

Background on Units 1-2

Unit 1 & 2 were built for the former GEB Rotterdam in the early 1970s as a gas-fired power station. Unit 1 went into operation in 1973 and Unit 2 in 1974. After the 1973 oil crisis, the gas units were converted to coal-firing in the 1980s, with the option of to also use gas.[2]

Units 1 and 2 retired in 2017.[3]

Maasvlakte Unit 3

In March 2006, E.ON stated that "E.ON Benelux has decided in favour of a new power station based on pulverised coal technology. This is the most reliable and cost-effective technology, meeting the most severe European emission requirements. The new power plant will be built on the basis of clean coal technology, in order to meet all IPPC emission requirements. E.ON Benelux will increase the energy efficiency of the new power station by around 20% compared with current Dutch coal-fired power stations, at least to an energy efficiency level of 46%. The latest technology also enables a reduction of CO2 emissions by some 20% per kWh. Furthermore, studies are underway into possible further increase of energy efficiency via heat supply to greenhouses and industrial clients."[4]

In its 2006 announcement, E.ON stated that "coal-fired power stations are better suited for baseload. Also, coal prices are less vulnerable to severe fluctuations in the world market than gas and oil."[4]

E.ON started constructing the new coal-fired/biomass power station in April 2008, and it is scheduled to go on line in 2013, with a goal to move to carbon capture and storage on a commercial scale in 2020.[5]

In April 2008, Power in Europe noted that "E.ON says all it needs to proceed is a natural habitat license and a construction license, which it hopes to get in early 2008. Greenpeace asks Council of State to strike down environmental licenses granted to E.ON Benelux for this project."[6]

E.ON started constructing the new coal-fired/biomass power station in April 2008, and it is scheduled to go on line in 2014. At the same time the the TNO-CATO test installation for trapping CO2 from flue gasses went on line at the site, with a goal to move on a commercial scale from 2020.[7] The new unit will be able to cofire up to 30 percent biomass.[8]

The project passed the final review stage of its environmental impact assessment in 2012. The new unit began testing in 2014,[9] and is planned for operation in 2015.[10]

The unit entered service and received its operating permit in 2016.[11][12][13]

In November 2021, the Dutch government approved the plant's early closure. So long as a social plan was put in place for the displaced employees, the plant would stop operation within two months and be dismantled within three years.[14] However, as of March 2022, the plant was still in operation.


In 2016, E.ON Benelux became Uniper Benelux. Uniper states that CCS plant at Maasvlakte 3 is an initiative of Uniper Benelux (formerly E.ON Benelux) and Engie Energy Netherlands (formerly GDF SUEZ Energy Netherlands).[15]

Rotterdam Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration plant

The Rotterdam Carbon Storage and Demonstration Project (ROAD) is the proposal for the subsequent retrofitting of Maasvlakte 3 with carbon capture technology (250 MW slipstream from the new 1,100 MW unit).[16] The project is a joint venture between Uniper Benelux (previously E.ON Benelux) and ENGIE Energie Nederland (previously GDF SUEZ Energie Nederland). The Project’s intended partners for storage is TAQA Energy (a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company).[17]

In February 2009, E.ON announced that it had teamed up with the Rotterdam Climate Initiative (RCI) to examine the possibility of adding CCS to the proposed plant.[18]

An Environmental Impact Assessment for the CCS project was submitted in June 2011. A final investment decision is expected before the end of 2014, and carbon sequestration by 2017,[19] later moved to 2019-2020.[17]

In July 2014, the ROAD capture directer Andy Read announced the project is currently “essentially mothballed” while the team waits for financing.[20]

In June 2017, Uniper called the project off.[21]


In May 2010, the Dutch government announced that it would spend €150m over 2010-2020 to support the project. This is in addition to €180m from the European Union allocated to the project from the Economic Recovery Program. It was reported that it is proposed that carbon dioxide from the project will be transported by an existing pipeline to the P18-A platform 20 kilometres offshore and then injected under the sea.[22]

In an April 2010 presentation to the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum in Washington, GDF Suez outlined the project as being a post-combustion project aimed at capturing approximately 1.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, a 90% capture rate, from a 250MW capture unit. It noted that the energy penalty for the CCS unit would be approximately 55MW.[23]

Project Details of Rotterdam CCS

  • Sponsor: Uniper (formerly E.ON), Engie (formerly GDF Suez)
  • Parent company:
  • Developer:
  • Location: Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • Coordinates: 51.958734, 4.027208 (exact)
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Capacity: 250 MW
  • Type: CCS
  • Planned start date:
  • Coal Type: Hard coal
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing: €150 million from the Dutch Government and €180 million from the European Union[22]

Resources and articles


  1. "IEEFA Update: Netherlands, in New Program to Close All Coal-Fired Generation by 2030, Sends European Energy Markets a Sharp Signal", October 10, 2017.
  2. "Central Maasvlakte," Wikipedia, accessed May 2020
  3. "Dutch government confirms 2.4GW of coal plants to close by 2017," ICIS, 22 July 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 E.ON, "E.ON selects Maasvlakte for new large-scale power plant", Media Release, March 8, 2006.
  5. "E.ON Maasvlakte (NL)," Zero, accessed September 2012.
  6. "PiE’s new power plant project tracker – April 2008", Power in Europe, Issue 523, April 7, 2008, page 32.
  7. "E.ON Maasvlakte (NL)," Zero, accessed September 2012.
  8. "E.ON in the Benelux countries," E.ON, accessed July 2014.
  9. "Power in Europe," Platts report, Issue 675, April 28, 2014 (subscription only).
  10. "E.ON in the Benelux countries," E.ON, accessed Oct 2015
  11. "Annual Report," E.ON, March 2016
  12. "Coal-Fired Plants in the Netherlands," Industcards, accessed Oct 2016
  13. "Protest at Opening Party for New Coal Power Station in the Netherlands," Greenpeace Media, Apr 21, 2016
  14. "Kabinet sluit kolencentrale Rotterdam, bedrijf krijgt 212 miljoen steun," RTL Nieuws, November 30, 2021
  15. "ROAD," Uniper, accessed April, 2016
  16. "Maasvlakte Coal & Biomass Plant," Progressive Global Energy website, accessed July 2014.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Rotterdam Opslag en Afvang Demonstratieproject (ROAD)," Global CCS Institute, updated Feb 18, 2016
  18. Peter Blackburn, "E.ON Explores New Technology For Dutch Coal Plant", Reuters, February 26, 2009.
  19. "Rotterdam Opslag en Afvang Demonstratieproject (ROAD)," Global CCS Institute, accessed January 2015
  20. "ROAD (Rotterdam Opslag en Afvang Demonstratieproject) Fact Sheet: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Project," CCS MIT, updated February 17, 2016
  21. "Kabinet blijft techniek voor afvang en opslag broeikasgassen stimuleren," Rijksoverheid, June 27, 2017
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Dutch government grants €150m to support Rotterdam CCS project", New Statesman, May 17, 2010.
  23. GDF Suez, CCS : a major challenge and opportunity for GDF SUEZ – risk update", Presentation to Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), Washington, April 6, 2010, page 9.

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