• New coal power plant opens in Germany, expected to be the last

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

What is expected to be Germany’s last new coal-fired power plant has commenced operation. The 1,100-MW Datteln 4 plant in North Rhine-Westphalia region has been more than a decade in planning and construction – at a cost of €1.5 billion/US$1.65 billion – and was allowed to open by the regional government in return for the closure of four other older coal-fired units – meaning an environmental improvement overall. Datteln 4 uses an advanced multi-step flue gas purification system, designed to eliminate nitrogen oxides, dust, and sulphur from the flue gas, with the steam generator supplied by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, and it appears that the expectation is that it will operate until 2038, when the phase-out of coal in Germany is scheduled to be complete. Around 500 people protested the opening of the plant, amongst them members of Greenpeace, Fridays for Future, Ende Gelände and the German Federation for Environment and Nature Conservation. Graffiti was written on the plant’s cooling tower: “Klimakrise (climate crisis), Made in Germany.” Fortum, the parent company of Uniper, responded to the criticism by saying that as a company it agrees “that coal must be phased out and emissions must be reduced”, but that during the transition security of supply and affordability are also important parameters.