11 Mar 2002 – A consortium consisting of RWE Industrie-L?sungen GmbH in Duisburg, an RWE Solutions AG company, and DSD Dillinger Stahlbau GmbH has signed an EPC contract (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) with a three-figure million Euro value with the Maritza East III Power Company, it was announced today.

The contract is for the modernisation of the 800 MW thermal power station Maritza East III and the construction of a flue gas desulphurization plant near Stara Zagora (in Southeast Bulgaria). The environmentally compatible upgrades planned for Maritza East III represent one of the largest individual pollution reduction measures in the whole of Europe.

The Maritza East III Power Company is a joint venture between Entergy and NEK, the Bulgarian national electricity supply company.

The contract covers the renovation and modernisation of four existing boiler and turbine generator units and the installation of a new exhaust gas desulphurization system. Around €100m of the total costs will be used for measures which increase the environmental compatibility of the plant. The modernisation measures will lead to an improvement of the output, efficiency and reliability of the plant and to a noticeable reduction of the environmental impact, said RWE.

The work to be carried out is expected to extend the operating life of the power station by at least 15 years. The overhauling and upgrading of the power station will take approximately three years. As a result of the phased modernisation the plant will be able to continue generating electricity during this construction period.

The modernisation measures will create more than 600 jobs during the construction period. Bulgarian companies will as subcontractors provide goods and services to the value of more than €75m.

On completion of the measures the plant will for the first time fulfil European and Bulgarian emission requirements. The environmentally compatible upgrades will reduce the sulphur dioxide emissions by almost 1000 tonnes per day (300 000 tonnes a year).Greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide) will be lowered by over 750 000 tonnes per year which means that the power station will fulfil the requirements of the World Bank and the European Union.

In addition a complete modernisation of the waste water system will reduce the water consumption by roughly 30 per cent. The environmentally acceptable measures also include the planting of trees to reduce wind erosion and the covering of ash tips with layers of clay to further reduce the creation of dust.