Germany’s RWE Innogy has laid the foundation stone for a biomass-fired combined heat and power plant at the Wittgenstein inter-municipal industry park, in the district of Siegen-Wittgenstein.

Developer of the plant is the Dortmund company RWE Innogy Cogen GmbH, a subsidiary of RWE Innogy. The plant’s rated output will be around 30 MWth and 8 MWe and production should commence in autumn 2009.

Primary construction work by Erndtebrück-based contractors, Müsse and Berge-Bau, will now begin. The structural steelwork for the boiler will be erected by the company Weiss-Kessel, from nearby Dillenburg, and this work is due to begin in October.

Located in Germany’s most wooded region, the plant will be fired by around 90,000 tonnes of freshly felled timber per year. In addition to forest biomass and residual forest timber, wood from landscape conservation and roadside greenery will also be used.
The project represents an investment of around €25 million, RWE says.

Stephan Lohr, managing director of RWE Innogy Cogen, said: ‘Our combined heat and power plant achieves up to 70% efficiency by generating heat and electricity together. Using wood as fuel, we also save a lot of CO2. Compared with a conventional plant, these savings are of the order of 1.2 million tonnes, over an expected 25 years of useful life.’