Neurath power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Neurath power station is a 4,112-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The power station includes additional retired coal capacity.


The undated satellite below shows the plant in Grevenbroich.

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The original plant consisted of three 312 MW units and two 644 MW units, commissioned from 1972-1976.[1]

Plans existed to retire Unit A of the plant in 2022.[2] Due to energy security concerns in light of the war in Ukraine, RWE decided to mothball the unit rather than formally retire it. The unit was placed on standby in April 2022.[3]

Neurath BoA - Units F and G

RWE AG proposed adding two ultra-supercritical units at the plant - F and G, also known as BoA 2 and 3 - with an installed capacity of 2,200 megawatts (2 x 1,100).[4][5]

The project received its first emission permit in June 2005. Construction began in August 2006 and the plant entered operation in August 2012.[6] The investment was €2.6 billion.[1]

On the evening of October 25, 2007, there was a serious accident on the construction site. A side wall connected to scaffolding, weighing more than 100 tons, tore off and buried several workers. Three construction workers died while six others were taken to surrounding hospitals, some seriously injured. Almost 300 firefighters, police, medical organizations and technical aid organizations were on duty; RWE Power was not considered at fault for the accident.[7]

Coal supply

The nearby lignite coal fields that power the plant were first mined in 1858.[1] The lignite is delivered by rail from open pits in Rhenish lignite district, in particular from the Garzweiler and Hambach open pit mines.[8]

Pollution Concerns

In 2013, a study commissioned by Greenpeace, in collaboration with the University of Stuttgart, concluded that the fine dusts emitted by the Neurath coal-fired power plant (before units F and G were put into operation) and the secondary fine dusts formed by sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions led to 1,712 years of life lost, ranking 7th out of Germany's power plants. In absolute numbers, the CO2 emissions from the plant average around 31 million tonnes per year, as of 2016. Approximately 950 grams of carbon dioxide are emitted per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is nearly twice as much as the average German electricity mix (494 grams of CO2/kWh). In 2011, the European Environment Agency estimated the annual costs of damage to the environment and health from the Neurath plant to be around 0.781-1.095 billion Euros.[7]

When approving the BoA plants (units F and G) in 2005, the Düsseldorf district government set the maximum emission limit values for mercury, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide from the new units to be below the applicable minimum requirements at the time.[7]

Citizen Action

In December 2005, after the BoA units were announced, 30 Greenpeace activists climbed onto a cooling tower at the site. A banner showing the words ‘CO2 Kills’ was dropped from the top of the cooling tower. The activists argued that lignite is a heavily polluting fuel, and Neurath uses conventional coal firing, rather than the cleaner and more efficient coal gasification with carbon dioxide scrubbing, to supply energy.[9]

In 2019, Greenpeace activists hosted a demonstration at the Neurath power station as part of the annual Ende Gelaande climate justice rally. They painted a 22-metre large "X" on the 100-metre tall cooling tower and rigged a banner underneath that read "Shutdown".[10]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: RWE Power AG
  • Parent company: RWE AG
  • Location: Grevenbroich, Rhein-Kreis Neuss, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • Coordinates: 51.035808, 6.6330385 (exact)
  • Gross generating capacity (operating): 3,800 MW
    • Unit C: unknown combustion technology, 312 MW (start-up in 1973, projected retirement 2023)
    • Unit D: unknown combustion technology, 644 MW (start-up in 1975, projected retirement 2022)
    • Unit E: unknown combustion technology, 644 MW (start-up in 1976, projected retirement 2022)
    • Unit F: ultra-supercritical, 1100 MW (start-up in 2012)
    • Unit G: ultra-supercritical, 1100 MW (start-up in 2012)
  • Gross generating capacity (mothballed): 312 MW
    • Unit A: unknown combustion technology, 312 MW (start-up in 1972, placed on standby[3] 2022)
  • Gross generating capacity (retired): 312 MW
    • Unit B: unknown combustion technology, 312 MW (start-up in 1972, retired in 2021[11])
  • Coal Type: Lignite
  • Coal Source: Domestic

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Coal-Fired Plants in Nordrhein-Westfalen - N to W," Industcards, accessed April 2016
  2. "RWE boosts German decarbonization with exit from coal and nuclear power," Industry & Energy, January 5, 2022
  3. 3.0 3.1 "RWE conserves unit A of the Neurath power plant," Energate Messenger, March 31, 2022
  4. RWE, "BoA 2&3," RWE website, accessed July 2008
  5. RWE, "RWE Facts & Figures 2007," RWE website, May 2007, page 137
  6. "Projects of coal-fired power plants in Germany since 2007," Deutsche Umwelthilfe, November 2012
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Kraftwerk Neurath," Wikipedia, accessed June 2021
  8. "Frimmersdorf and Neurath power plants," RWE, accessed December 2010
  9. "RWE Power Lignite-Fired Plant, Neurath, Grevenbroich," Power Technology, accessed June 2021
  10. "Protest at RWE Neurath Power Station in Germany," Greenpeace, 2019
  11. "Energy transition: RWE will also shut down three lignite plants at the end of the year," Market Research Telecast, December 30, 2021

Wikipedia also has an article on the Neurath Power Station. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.

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