German lignite plant set for $67m CHP overhaul

A German power station running on lignite and gas is to go through a €60m ($67m) modernization to turn it into a combined heat and power plant.

The Am Hohen Feld power station is operated by Stadtwerke Frankfurt (Oder) GmbH and since 1997 has been supplying electricity via lignite and natural gas to around 50,000 homes and businesses, plus district heating to some 23,000 residential and commercial customers in the town on the banks of the river Oder.

The upgrade by MAN Energy Solutions is due for completion around late 2021 and will see the plant instead operate on five of MAN’s  20V35/44G natural gas engines, which will produce 51 MW of energy and 50 MW of district heating.

MAN will also install a hot water boiler with a capacity of 20 MW that will increase the overall thermal capacity of the plant to 70 MW.

"By modernizing our power plant we are securing environmentally-friendly and economically-efficient heat and power for our region," said Torsten Röglin, director of Stadtwerke Frankfurt (Oder). "The new plant reduces CO2 emissions by up to 35,000 tonnes per year. Operating at a total efficiency of over 90 percent, the power plant makes particularly effective use of its fuel."

The new gas engines – which reach their full output in less than five minutes – will boost the flexibility of the plant. Thanks to a new heat reservoir with a capacity of 10,000 cubic meters, the waste heat from the engines can be stored when the demand for heat is low, while electricity production continues as normal.

This allows Stadtwerke Frankfurt (Oder) to react quickly and flexibly to price changes on the electricity exchanges.

"Large gas engines are particularly suitable for generating district heat,” said explains Hajo Hoops of MAN Energy Solutions. “When combined with a heat reservoir, this also enables the plant to operate in a market-oriented, flexible way, as electricity and heat generation are separated."

MAN Energy Solutions will remain a project partner after commissioning because the company's after-sales brand, MAN PrimeServ, will work with Stadtwerke Frankfurt (Oder) staff on maintenance work.

Dr Michael Filous, vice-president at MAN PrimeServ, explains: "We will supply the power plant with spare parts and carry out maintenance work on the engines. Both Stadtwerke Frankfurt (Oder) and MAN are seeking to establish a long-term partnership."
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You can meet experts from MAN Energy Solutions at both POWERGEN Asia in September and POWERGEN Europe in November to find out more about the company's latest technologies.

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