Ground Broken for Leoben VERBUND Power Plant
Breaking ground for the Leoben VERBUND Power Plant today, VERBUND, Austria’s leading electricity service provider, proves that infrastructural investments are made in a liberalized electricity market, too. The rates of increase in electricity consumption in Austria and Europe call for the creation of new power-generating capacities. VERBUND is responding to this fact.
The new small-scale hydroelectric power plant will produce around 50 million kWh per year at a total capacity of 9,900 kilowatt. Thus it will produce about three times as much electric energy as the old power plant, covering the annual electricity requirements of about 14,000 households. For the project funds amounting to around 34 million euros have been set aside. This investment volume is an important impetus for the regional value added.
The demolition work for the old Krempl hydroelectric power plant - it was built about 100 years ago - have been under way since August. It will make room for the new StadtKraftWerk Leoben of VERBUND-Austrian Hydro Power AG (AHP). The new plant is to be completed by October 2005. The chairman of the AHP management board Dr. Herbert Schröfelbauer, honorary government building surveyor, expresses his thanks for the excellent cooperation between the provincial and municipal representatives, the citizens’ advisory board set up for this project and the AHP project team. From the start of planning the StadtKraftWerk, AHP, Austria’s leading producer of hydroelectricity, has also attached great importance to involving the local population and keeping them informed, and this will continue during the two years’ construction time. “This approach has ensured transparency from the beginning and taken into account the specific requirements of building a power plant in a city”, says the AHP chief.
Hans Haider, chairman of the VERBUND board of management and chairman of the AHP supervisory board, says that the way in which the public authorities have handled the Leoben power plant project points the way ahead because “if Austria’s electricity supply is to be guaranteed in the future, a positive investment climate and stable, solid and uniform ground rules which potential investors can rely on in the medium term are absolutely essential”. May the StadtKraftWerk Leoben be a positive example. “The relatively short authorization processes fitted in well with the AHP’s willingness to invest and are trend-setting for the future, even larger capital investment projects that will be necessary to keep up the important locational advantage of being able to guarantee electricity supply not only for the region but nationwide”, says Mr. Haider in conclusion.