Austria’s most efficient CHP plant officially handed over

The official hand-over of the Mellach combined heat and power (CHP) plant to Verbund Thermal Power GmbH & Co. KG, Austria’s main electricity provider took place today. The 838 MW CHP plant entered operation last month.

With an efficiency of 59.2 per cent in straight power generation mode, Mellach surpasses the contractually agreed performance values. And thanks to the district heating output of 400 MWth, more than 80 per cent of the energy in the fuel is utilised.

This means the new plant in Mellach is not only the most powerful, but also the most efficient thermal power plant in Austria, and makes a major contribution to an environmentally compatible power and district heating supply for the Styria region.

Siemens built the plant as a turnkey project and supplied two gas turbines of type SGT5-4000F, two SST5-5000 steam turbines, two SGen5-2000H generators, all the electrical equipment, and the SPPA-T3000 instrumentation and control system.

The company will also be responsible for the maintenance of the plant’s main components.

The Mellach plant replaces five older units that were run on lignite or oil fuel, thus saving up to two million tons of CO2 per year, says Siemens. It runs on natural gas and is located to the south of the regional capital of Graz.

In addition to 5 billion kWh of electric power per year, the Mellach plant can produce about 800 million kWh of district heating.

“The Mellach combined-cycle power plant meets the highest standards in terms of efficiency and flexibility. Fast start-up times and steep load gradients make the plant ideal for supplementing volatile power generation from renewable energy sources.

“This makes the plant a reliable cornerstone for a stable power supply in Austria over the coming decades,” says Roland Fischer, CEO of the Fossil Power Generation Division, Siemens Energy.

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