Voitsberg power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Voitsberg power station is a retired 435-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in the state of Styria, Austria.

Location

The map below shows the location of the power station in the state of Styria, Austria.

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Background

The Voitsberg coal plant consisted of three coal-fired units built by the Austrian Draukraftwerke AG. The plant was fueled using lignite from nearby mines operated by the Graz-Köflacher Railway and Mining Company. The first two units were commissioned in 1953 and 1956 respectively; after a soil investigation in 1975 revealed a large deposit of lignite coal near the municipality of Voitsberg, the company decided to build a third, 330-MW unit, which cost 4.5 billion schillings (713 million Euros when adjusted for inflation). Unit 3 began operation in 1983 while Unit 1 was shut down. Unit 2 was closed shortly after in 1985. In 1986, in an effort to reduce pollution, a flue gas desulphurization system was put into operation in Unit 3, which resulted in a 90% decrease in sulfur dioxide emissions.

As a result of the liberalization of the electricity market in 2001 and declining coal deposits, the Voitsberg power plant and its nearby coal mines were deemed unprofitable. To keep the plant afloat, a subsidy was paid out until June 30, 2006, which was financed by end consumers in Austria via a surcharge on the electricity bill under the name "Stranded Costs." After the subsidy ran out, the company decided to shut down the plant in 2006.

Repurchasing and Citizen Actions

In 2008, Mirko Kovats, a prominent Austrian investor from the A-Tec Industries Group, bought the plant with the goal of placing it back into operation as a coal-fired power station. However, a local citizen group was concerned that the power plant was located in a particulate matter remediation area, which already had one of the highest cancer mortality rates in Austria, and demanded an environmental impact assessment (EIA). Initially, the responsible authority voted against the EIA, but the state of Styria's environmental lawyer and local communities appealed against this decision. Yet, in the summer of 2010, the appeals were rejected by the Austrian Environment Senate, as, according to Austrian law, only the increase in fuel heat output, but not the effects on the environment, had to be examined.

However, later that year, Mirko Kovats announced that the A-Tec Group was undergoing a restructuring process because they were unable to refinance an outstanding bond. In May 3, 2011, A-Tec and Kovats withdrew their application for restarting the power plant.

The site was demolished by the PORR Umwelttechnik GmbH company from 2013 to 2016.[1]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Austrian Draukraftwerke AG
  • Parent company: Verbund
  • Location: the state of Styria, Austria
  • Coordinates: 47.0475, 15.1603 (exact)
  • Coal type: Lignite
  • Coal source: local mines
  • Gross generating capacity (retired): 435 MW
    • Unit 1: Coal-fired (unknown combustion technology), 40 MW (start-up in 1953)
    • Unit 2: Coal-fired (unknown combustion technology), 65 MW (start-up in 1956)
    • Unit 3: Coal-fired (unknown combustion technology), 330 MW (start-up in 1983)

Articles and Resources

References

  1. "Demolition of the power station Voitsberg". Porr. 2016. Retrieved May 19, 2021.

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