Westfalen power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Westfalen power station, sometimes referred to as the Hamm power station, is a retired coal-fired power plant in Westfalia, Germany.


The map below shows the location of the plant in Hamm.

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Units A-C

The original power station consisted of three coal units, units A-C, completed between 1963 and 1969. The first two units of 176 MW each, units A-B, were retired in February 2011. The third unit of 305 MW was retired on March 31, 2016.[1]

Unit E & proposed Unit D

RWE proposed two new 820 MW coal-fired units (sometimes referred to as 800 MW) at the Westfalen power station. In 2007, RWE listed the project as one of its major capital investments and anticipated that construction would begin in 2008 and commissioned in 2012.[2]

In April 2008, Power in Europe reported that the construction license for the project had been issued and that "23 municipal utilities have taken 350-MW total stake for 25 years at cost of €450 million." It was planned that the project would be online in 2013. Outgoing CEO Harry Roels confirmed the 2013 investment intention. Roels said it would be profitable for RWE to build coal plants, "even under a scenario of 100% carbon auctioning and a CO2 price of up to €30.00/MWh." It also noted that the environmental group BUND estimated the likely carbon dioxide emissions at 8.6 million tons a year. In December 2005, RWE estimated the cost of the project as €1.3 billion. Power in Europe also noted that RWE "already operates the Westfalen coal station, with three units commissioned in the 1960s, at the site."[3][4]

The units were scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2014.[5]

Block E went into commercial operation in the summer of 2014. The boiler at Block D faced technical problems and it was questioned whether or not it would ever go into operation according to Renewables International. France’s Alstom built the boiler.[6]

In December 2015, RWE – which lost more than half its market value in 2015 – said it wasn’t “economically viable” to complete the US$1.1 billion unit D, which had been dogged by delays and defects including a chemical leak.[7]

Retirement of unit E

During the first German auction to decommission hard coal-fired power plants, RWE Generation was allocated compensation for both the 800 megawatt Unit E of its Westfalen power plant in Hamm and its 800 megawatt Unit B of the Ibbenbüren power plant. As a consequence, RWE would no longer be entitled to market the electricity generated in the plants after December 31, 2020. Subject to the review by the transmission system operators, the last two hard coal-fired power plants of RWE in Germany would be decommissioned. For both plants, with a total net capacity of 1,560 megawatts, the company would receive 216 million euros in line with the awards of the auction.[8]

Unit E retired in July 2021.[9]

Ownership and PPAs

Twenty-three utilities held 23 percent of the two coal units (the rest was owned by RWE). As part of the agreement, the utilities were to purchase electricity from the coal plants at a price set for 20 years. However, as of 2015, prices on the power exchange were lower. In July 2015, German media reported that the 23 municipal utilities wanted to sell their stakes in Hamm D and E. Since invisible utilities cross-subsidize other public services (such as public transportation) from profits in the power sector, the power station's losses could mean higher prices for public services.[6]

Articles and Resources


  1. "Coal-Fired Plants in Nordrhein-Westfalen," Industcards, accessed October 2016
  2. RWE, "RWE Facts & Figures 2007," RWE website, May 2007, page 137
  3. "PiE’s new power plant project tracker – April 2008," Power in Europe, Issue 523, April 7, 2008, page 20
  4. "Westfalen power station - Units D and E" RWE, October 8, 2012
  5. "Power in Europe," Platts report, Issue 675, April 28, 2014 (subscription only)
  6. 6.0 6.1 "New German coal plant worth one euro," Renewables International, July 29, 2015
  7. "This €1 Billion Power Plant May Never Be Switched on," Bloomberg, December 22, 2015
  8. "Compensation allocated at hard coal phase-out auction: RWE closes power stations in Hamm and Ibbenbüren," RWE|, December 1, 2020
  9. "Ende einer Ära: RWE Steinkohlekraftwerke in Hamm und Ibbenbüren gehen endgültig vom Netz," RWE, July 8, 2021

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