Biomass, Renewables

Wärtsilä inaugurates its first biomass power plant in Germany

22 March 2006 – The first biomass fired power plant Wärtsilä has delivered to Germany was officially inaugurated yesterday at a ceremony attended by the country’s Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel.

The new biomass fuelled combined heat and power plant, located in Baden-Baden, will provide electricity and district heating for the Baden Airpark business and service centre.

Speaking at the inauguration event, Wärtsilä’s president and CEO Ole Johansson said: “Our investments in these technologies are now bearing fruit. A fine example is this power plant here in Baden-Baden, which produces both heat and electricity close to their consumers.”

Owned by BioTherm Baden GmbH & Co KG, the plant is operated by Stadtwerke Baden-Baden. The project’s tight schedule provided the developer with the biggest challenge.

Rainer Pahl, managing director of BioTherm Baden said: “As the Renewable Energy Sources Act gives incentives through the electricity pricing structure, the plant had to be commissioned and produce the first power to the grid before the end of 2005 to ensure better prices. We succeeded in reaching this goal owing to the experienced, local civil contractors and Wärtsilä’s standardized, modular power plant.”

The contract was awarded to Wärtsilä in September 2004, after a three-year planning period.

The company supplied its BioPower 5 CEX modular package to provide the business complex with up to 5.2 MW of electricity and 3.5 MW of thermal energy. The plant burns wood residues from the local forestry industry.

The BioPower 5 CEX is one of Wärtsilä’s highly modular power plant products. The combustion technology is based on the rotating grate, BioGrate, which is designed for efficient combustion of moist wood fuels, such as forest residues. The moisture content of the fuel can be as high as 65 per cent.