Moorburg Power Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Moorburg Power Station in Hamburg, Germany is a 1680 MW coal plant operated by Vattenfall Europe.


In April 2008 the Power in Europe energy industry newsletter foreshadowed that the project might be blocked as a part of a power sharing agreement between the conservative Christian Democratic Union and the Green Party following the mid-February Hamburg elections. The Greens opposed the project proceeding, which would emit more than 8 million tonnes of Co2 a year. Vattenfall aim to have the project completed by 2012.[1]

Despite opposition, the project has proceeded, though there have been delays due to defective steel. Completion of the first unit was expected in 2014.[2]

The second 830 MW unit at the plant went online in March 2015.[3]

In September 2016 Vattenfall said it aims to sell its new coal-fired plant in Moorburg, Germany, some time in the next five years.[4]

Having written down the value of the Moorburg plant by US$1 billion in July 2020,[5] Vattenfall announced in September 2020 its intention to shut down the plant in part or in full as early as mid-2021 if its bid to secure decommissioning costs in Germany’s first hard coal closure auction is successful. Germany's Federal Network Agency will announce in December 2020 which bid has won the auction.[6] Already in 2015 a report by Carbon Tracker illustrated that Moorburg’s capital costs of over EUR 3 billion were unlikely to ever be recovered. The plant has subsequently been hampered by court rulings that prevent it from connecting to Hamburg’s district heating system, and from using water from the River Elbe for cooling – forcing the company to construct expensive cooling towers which it has to operate at all times.[7]

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