Automotive

Published on March 11th, 2018 | by Subhash Nair

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VW Group Move Away From Coal Power

The Volkswagen Group is taking another key step towards significantly reducing environmental impact and is moving away from coal. The Group Board of Management has decided that the Group’s two major power stations in Wolfsburg are to be thoroughly modernized and changed over from hard coal to natural gas firing. In the course of this project, several new combined-cycle systems are to be installed as replacements for the existing coal-fired boilers. About €400 million is to be invested in this project and the new facilities are to be commissioned between 2021 and 2022.

The new high-efficiency gas turbines to be installed at the Wolfsburg power stations will durably reduce carbon dioxide emissions for heat and power generation by about 1.5 million tonnes per year. This corresponds to the current annual CO2 output of about 870,000 vehicles and represents a reduction of almost 60 percent compared with the previous emissions of the power stations at Wolfsburg. With reference to the German plants, the reduction in CO2 emissions amounts to about 50 percent. The systems are to be operated by Group company VW Kraftwerk GmbH.

At the “Heizkraftwerk Nord/Süd” power station, a landmark of the Wolfsburg plant, it is planned to replace the coal-fired boilers by a combined-cycle (gas and steam turbine) system and three hot water boilers. In future, these facilities will generate about 136 megawatts of electric power and about 386 megawatts of heat energy. In addition, two further combined-cycle units are to be installed in the current coal storage area next to the “Heizkraftwerk West” power station and will then generate about 288 megawatts of electric power and about 265 megawatts of heat energy. The total investment in high-efficiency combined-cycle systems at this location will be about €400 million.

Provided that approval is given by the competent authorities and sufficient progress is achieved with detailed design and calls for tenders, the first construction work could already start in 2018. When the new facilities have been commissioned, probably in 2021 and 2022, CO2 emissions may be reduced by almost 60 percent or about 1.5 million tonnes per year – corresponding to the current carbon dioxide output of about 870,000 vehicles per year.

The two power stations at Wolfsburg not only supply most of the power required for the Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volkswagen components facilities at Wolfsburg, Emden, Hanover, Kassel, Brunswick and Salzgitter. The stations also supply heat to the Wolfsburg plant as well as to the city of Wolfsburg.


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