Neurath power plant. Photo credit: RWE AG

Numerous RWE power plant sites have been affected by the severe floods in Germany and work is underway to avert further dangers and limit damage.

According to a RWE statement, in the Rhenish lignite mining area, the Inden/Weisweiler site was heavily hit. The large power plant sites at Niederaußem and Neurath can continue to produce power, however, the Inden open-cast mine and the connected Weisweiler power station were badly affected.

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The waters of the river Inde had flooded a dam near the village of Lamersdorf and subsequently entered the open-cast mine.

The situation has been stabilised due to falling water levels and safety measures being deployed.

The Weisweiler power station is running although at reduced capacity.

The open-cast mine is to be put back into operation according to a step-by-step plan. The aim is for mining operations to restart by the end of next week, however, how long it will take to fully restore operations of the open-cast mine and the Weisweiler power station is currently being evaluated.

Many hydropower stations are out of operation. The RWE run-of-river power stations operated in the Eifel region and on the Mosel, Saar and Ruhr rivers are also struggling with the consequences of the floods.

With the exception of the Baldeney and Unkelmühle plants, all are currently out of operation. This also applies to the hydropower station in Linne (Netherlands).

Water is currently being pumped and securing and clean-up work is being carried out with the aim of bringing the stations back online as soon as possible.

At the Claus gas-fired power station near Maasbracht (Netherlands), the flood wave of the Maas river reached its peak in the late evening of 16 July. The water levels are currently decreasing and so far, the dikes have withstood the flood.

After an initial evaluation, RWE expects damages to total up to a mid-double-digit million euro sum.

To help the people directly affected and support aid organisations and regional initiatives, RWE is donating 1 million euros ($1.18 million) as part of an emergency programme. Markus Krebber, CEO of RWE AG, says: “The pictures of the flood disaster are a terrible sight. We feel for those affected – amongst them are many of our employees. At the same time, we see an abundant and an extraordinary commitment to help people in need and to get the situation under control. We as a company will also support quickly and unbureaucratically.”