Stuttgart. Pursuing its aim of becoming climate-neutral by 2035, EnBW has launched three major fuel switch projects in the past year to convert existing coal power plant sites in Altbach/Deizisau, Stuttgart-Münster and Heilbronn into natural gas and, from the 2030s, green hydrogen plants. This week, EnBW and a consortium consisting of General Electric, SENER and Bonatti signed contracts for the Heilbronn and Altbach/Deizisau sites. The major order, with a volume in the mid-three-digit million range per site, includes the construction of one combined heat and power plant each as well as the respective maintenance and servicing work.
The contracts are being awarded in phases and in parallel with the planning approval process at the sites. The cooperation between the consortium and EnBW required the turbines to be H2-ready, i.e., already capable of generating electricity with hydrogen. Until the necessary infrastructure is in place, the only option available within the energy transition is natural gas to fill the gap in controllable power available at the push of a button at any time of the day or night.
“The current events in Ukraine clearly show the challenges associated with the European energy transition. Modern gas power plants play an indispensable role in maintaining sufficiently flexible power generation and thus guaranteeing security of supply. They must support the expansion of renewable energies”, explains Michael Class, Head of Generation Portfolio Development. “In the planning of the power plants, we already foresee the conversion to hydrogen today. This conversion to 100% hydrogen is already predefined through the plant technology."
“While Germany is undertaking exemplary measures to increase energy security and independence through driving decarbonisation, GE is proud to lead a consortium with SENER & Bonatti and together with EnBW address the opportunities and challenges of the energy transition. We are committed to supporting these efforts with GE’s industry-leading H-Class gas turbines technology, a key enabler to increase the share of renewables, and to accelerate coal phase-out as we work towards zero-carbon gas-based power generation with hydrogen,” says Joe Anis, President & CEO, Europe, Middle East & Africa, GE Gas Power.
For their part, SENER and Bonatti state: “We are happy to join EnBW and contribute with our experience and know-how to the engineering and construction of these two large scale modern power plants that will eventually become green hydrogen units”. And they add: “This is also our way to boost the European and German energy transitions in line with the demanding present and, most importantly, future needs. This project further consolidates the profitable collaboration between SENER and Bonatti started about 10 years ago”.
A total of around 1,300 megawatts of electricity generation capacity is set to be produced at the two power plant sites. In addition, gas power plants contribute to efficient heat recovery as a by-product of electricity generation.
Fuel switch in Heilbronn
There are plans at the Heilbronn site to construct a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant with an electrical output of approx. 680 MW and thermal output of up to 190 MW for heat extraction. The new plant will thus also secure the district heating supply in Heilbronn in the long term. Coal unit 7 and reserve units 5 and 6 at the power plant could be shut down following the commissioning of the CCGT plant. The land-use planning process is currently under way at the Heilbronn site. The expectation is that the land-use plan will be presented to the public at the end of 2022. The approval process in line with the Federal Immission Control Act will then take place.
Fuel switch in Altbach/Deizisau
There are plans at the Altbach/Deizisau site to construct a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant with an electrical output of approx. 680 MW and thermal output of up to 180 MW for heat extraction. Two hard coal units at the power plant could be shut down following the planned commissioning of the CCGT plant in 2026. The submission of the approval application to the regional authority in Stuttgart in line with the Federal Immission Control Act is planned for the summer of 2022.
Bonatti is an International Contractor providing services to the energy industry. Its main activities are EPC and stand-alone construction of plants and pipelines, operation and maintenance and production enhancement services. The Company’s total approach to projects is key-factor in Customer satisfaction. Construction-focused engineering and fit-to-purpose constructability at every step are guarantee to Bonatti Clients of the best quality and cost-effective execution. Bonatti’s goal is to be country-embedded, complying with HSEQ best practices and adopting a sustainable approach in all its activities. The Company is currently present in 4 continents with 6,500 people.
About GE Gas Power
GE Gas Power is a world leader in natural gas power technology, services, and solutions. Through relentless innovation and continuous collaboration with our customers, we are providing more advanced, cleaner and efficient power that people depend on today and building the energy technologies of the future. With the world’s largest installed base of gas turbines and more than 670 million operating hours across GE’s installed fleet, we offer advanced technology and a level of experience that’s unmatched in the industry to build, operate, and maintain leading gas power plants.
SENER is a private engineering and technology business group founded in 1956. Its aim is to offer its clients the most advanced technological solutions and to achieve international recognition based on its independence and commitment to innovation, quality and sustainability. The SENER Group has more than 2,400 professionals in offices in five continents and brings together its own Engineering and Aerospace activities, and through the SENER Renewable Investments, has ownership stakes in companies working in the renewable energy field. In every field of activity -Energy, Infrastructure, Marine and Aerospace-, SENER has become a leading company worldwide.
With over 26,000 employees, EnBW is one of the largest energy companies in Germany and Europe. It supplies around 5.5 million customers with electricity, gas, water as well as services and products in the areas of infrastructure and energy. The expansion of renewable energies is a cornerstone of the growth strategy and a focus of investment. EnBW will invest around 4 billion euros in the further expansion of wind and solar energy by 2025. By the end of 2025, more than half of the generation portfolio is to consist of renewable energies. This is already having a noticeable effect on reducing CO2 emissions, which EnBW aims to halve by 2030. EnBW is aiming for climate neutrality by 2035.