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Moorburg CHP Plant

Moorburg CHP Plant
Aerial view of Moorburg CHP Plant; Hamburg Container Terminal Altenwerder in the background.

Moorburg wins the auction

On 1st December 2020, the Federal Network Agency announced that both units of Moorburg power plant had been awarded the contract in the first auction process to reduce electricity generation from hard coal. This means that the power plant is expected to be shut down as early as 2021.

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Hamburg-Moorburg thermal power station was classified as obsolete

The four German transmission system operators checked if the Vattenfall power plant, Moorburg was still needed to support the stability of the grid system and on 1st March 2021 it was decided that Moorburg was no longer needed. Based on this decision, the power plant will be shut down on 7th July 2021.


Highly flexible

The Moorburg power plant already today plays a role for grid stability also with regard to the scope of the further development of renewable energies. The output of the power plant can be increased or reduced by more than 600 MW within 15 minutes. This corresponds to the output of around 200 onshore wind turbines. The power plant can quickly and at any time compensate for unavoidable fluctuations in the feed-in of renewables caused by the weather and the time of day. This great flexibility makes the power plant suitable for meeting the requirements of the German Energiewende.


High efficiency – lower emissions

Moorburg CHP Plant's efficiency of 46.5% makes it one of the most efficient hard coal power plants in Europe. When operating at full power, the plant in Moorburg gives off about one quarter less CO2 emissions than older hard coal power plants.

The new power plant also features state-of-the-art environmental technology. The flue gas purification system, for instance, ensures that the power plant not only complies with the tough emissions limits, but that it significantly falls below numerous parameters.  


Combined heat and power for a more efficient use of energy

Moorburg CHP Plant was designed to generate electricity as well as heat. It could supply a maximum of up to 650 megawatts of district heating; this would increase fuel efficiency to around 60%. The plant has been operating as a CHP plant since the autumn of 2016 and supplies process steam to the neighbouring refinery Holborn Europa Raffinerie GmbH via a steam pipeline. This means that some of the available heat is now being used for the first time, saving 15,000 tonnes of CO2 per year alone. In the future, the combined heat and power system at Moorburg Power Plant will ensure that energy is utilised more efficiently than in the separate generation of electricity and heat.


Site with history

The Southern Elbe site has a long history: electricity has been generated there for decades. Newly constructed wharves enable the unloading of sea-faring ships, and the handling of large quantities of coal, ash and gypsum will benefit both local service providers and Hamburg's ports. This guarantees stable development for Hamburg, as well as acting as a catalyst for further investment and jobs.


Protection for the Elbe and its fish

In addition to numerous environmental measures, a new fish ladder on the north bank of the river Elbe near Geesthacht helps the fish populations to thrive. The state-of-the-art fish pass enables migrating fish populations to travel to their upstream breeding grounds without encountering any barriers. Since it was commissioned in August 2010, more than two million fish of almost 50 different species have reached the upper reaches of the Elbe via the fish pass.