Matra power station

From Global Energy Monitor
Part of the Global Gas Plant Tracker, a Global Energy Monitor and Center for Media and Democracy project.

Matra power station, in Heves County, Hungary, has 944-megawatts (MW) of generating capacity (884 MW coal-fired and 60 MW gas-fired).


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

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Background on plant

Mátra Power Station (Hungarian: Mátrai Erőmű) is a lignite coal-fired power plant in the valley of the Mátra mountains, Hungary.[1]

On its website, plant owner RWE states that the plant "is supplied with coal from two opencast mines. Matra is Hungary’s second largest power producer and extracts half of the country's lignite." It also stated that in late 2006 and early 2007 two topping gas turbines (TGT) were commissioned at the plant which "have raised the capacity of the connected power plant units by some 10 per cent."[2]

The plant has five units providing 884 MW of coal-fired capacity and 60 MW of natural gas-fired capacity:[3][4]

  • Unit 1: 100 MW
  • Unit 2: 100 MW
  • Unit 3: 220 MW
  • Unit 4: 232 MW (plus a 30 MW natural gas topping turbine)
  • Unit 5: 232 MW (plus a 30 MW natural gas topping turbine)

Proposed retirement

In March 2019 new plant owner Opus Global said it planned to phase out lignite coal burning at the Matra plant by 2029, and will instead operate a 500MW gas plant, a 100MW biomass unit, a 31MW waste incinerator and a 400-MW solar park. The company also plans to build 600MW of storage.[5]

In March 2021, the government of Hungary said it was phasing out coal power by 2025, and would close the Matra plant that year. The government said it plans to increase solar capacity to 6 gigawatts and use European Union funds to retrain workers affected by the closure of the Matra plant. Both a 200 MW solar farm and 500 MW gas plant are planned to be built on the Matra site.[6]

Proposed Unit 6

A new coal fired co-generation plant was proposed by Matrai Erömu, which used to be majority-owned by RWE and the state-owned Hungarian Electricity Works (MVM), to have an installed capacity of 2,000 megawatts. However, RWE's website in 2008 did not list the project in its "power plant new-build" list.[7]

In 2010, RWE announced that it was canceling plans to add a new 440-megawatt (MW) unit to its Matra coal-fired power plant.[8]

However, in 2015 RWE was requested by state-owned Hungarian Electricity Works to prepare and submit an Environmental Due Diligence for the plant, part of the environmental permitting procedure. The plant would be 500 MW and supercritical.[9]

In November 2017 the Administrative Court of Eger in Hungary set aside the environmental license for the unit, saying the review needed to be redone due to inadequate assessment of the area to be affected by the proposed plant.[10]

The Hungarian National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), released in January 2020, foresees a coal phase-out for the country by 2030. There is no mention of a new coal unit at Matra, suggesting plans for the unit are cancelled.[11]


In December 2017, plant owners RWE Power and EnBW were in the process of selling their interests in the Matra plant to a consortium consisting of the Czech holding company Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) and the Hungarian investor Lőrinc Mészáros, through his company the Opus Group. In March 2018 the OPUS Group acquired a stake in EPH, putting the Mátra Power Plant under the exclusive control of the Opus Group.[12]

In December 2019, MVM Group officially signed a contract with OPUS Global on the sale of 72.66% of the shares of the Matra Power Plant, making MVM the sole owner of the Matra plant. The transaction could be closed in the first quarter of 2020.[13]

In March of 2020 the finalization of MVM's acquisition of the plant was announced for HUF 17.4 billion[14] The price paid has raised controversy.[15]

Plant Details

  • Sponsor: RWE Power AG[16]
  • Parent company: RWE Aktiengesellschaft[17]
  • Developer:
  • Location: Visonta, East of Gyongyos, Heves, Hungary
  • Coordinates: 47.79027,20.06358 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Gross generating capacity (operating): 944 MW
    • Unit 1: Coal-fired subcritical, 100 MW (start-up in 1969)
    • Unit 2: Coal-fired subcritical, 100 MW (start-up in 1970)
    • Unit 3: Coal-fired subcritical, 220 MW (start-up in 1970)
    • Unit 4: Coal-fired subcritical, 232 MW (start-up in 1969)
    • Unit 5: Coal-fired subcritical, 232 MW (start-up in 1969)
    • Unit 6: Coal-fired, supercritical, 500 MW (Cancelled)
    • Unit GT1: Gas-fired[18] open-cycle gas turbine[18] with CHP[19], 30 MW[18] (start-up in 2007)[20]
    • Unit GT2: Gas-fired[18] open-cycle gas turbine[18] with CHP[19], 30 MW[18] (start-up in 2007)[20]
  • Gross generating capacity (proposed): 500 MW
    • Unit CC1: Gas-fired[21] combined-cycle[22], 500 MW[21] (start-up not found)
  • Coal Type: Lignite
  • Coal Source: Matra coal mine

Articles and Resources


  1. "EUROPA - Press Releases - European Commission approves "coal package" authorising restructuring plans for the Polish, German and Hungarian coal industry until 2010". Retrieved 2011-03-02.
  2. "Lignite", RWE website, accessed July 2008.
  3. "Matra power plant," Wikipedia, accessed May 2014
  4. "Coal- and Lignite-Fired Plants in Hungary," Industcards, accessed April 2016
  5. "Nagy dobásra készül a Mátrai Erőmű - Teljes átalakulást terveznek," Portfolio, March 25, 2019
  6. "Hungary brings coal exit forward by five years, to 2025". 2021-03-04. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
  7. RWE, "Power plant new-build", RWE website, undated, accessed July 2008.
  8. "RWE Cancels Hungarian Coal-Fired Project, an Industrial Info News Alert," Industrial Information Europe, November 5, 2010
  9. "Environmental Due Diligence," RWE, 2015
  10. "Vesztett a Mátrai Erőmű," Nepszava, Nov 22, 2017
  11. Hungarian National Energy and Climate Plan, January 2020
  12. "Privátbanká - Gyorsan kiszálltak a csehek: megjött Mészárosék nagy bejelentése," Privat Bankar, Mar 26, 2018
  13. Simon, Zoltan (December 23, 2019). "Orban Ally Sells Hungary Coal Plant Before $1 Billion Overhaul". Bloomberg.
  14. MVM acquires Mátrai power plant for HUF 17.4 bln, Budapest Business Journal )BBJ), Mar 26, 2020
  15. The Hungarian state paid four times more for the Mátrai plant than thought before?, Daily News Hungary, Jul 29, 2020
  16. Mátrai Erőmű - Company data
  17. Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) 529900GB7KCA94ACC940 Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation, accessed January 2020
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 Mátrai Erőmű - Power station
  19. 19.0 19.1 World Electric Power Plants database S&P Global Platts, June 2019
  20. 20.0 20.1 M%C3%A1tra Power Plant Wikipedia, accessed December 2019
  21. 21.0 21.1 Hungary to phase out coal by 2025, five years earlier than planned, Balkan Green Energy News, Mar 8, 2021
  22. Solar and gas to drive Mátra Power Plant’s low carbon future, CEEnergy News, Jul 11, 2020

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