Verbund to construct Mellach steam plant


With that, all necessary prerequisites for the construction of Mellach combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant as planned by VERBUND-Austrian Thermal Power GmbH and Co KG (ATP) have now been fulfilled. The agreement with plant constructor Siemens Austria was signed on 30 July.

Siemens will erect the power plant as main contractor. Detailed planning will continue until the end of 2008; the start of construction has been determined for the beginning of 2009.

"The 550 million Euro investment fulfils the highest standards in terms of efficiency, climate protection and security of supply," Verbund General Director Dr. Michael Pistauer stated. Verbund is thus making a valuable and highly urgent contribution to its strategic objective for an electricity supply that is in line with modern day requirements.

On account of presenting the most economical solution and the most sophisticated, cutting-edge technological concept together with the necessary verifiable references, Siemens Austria was able to win the tendering procedure. For Siemens Österreich, Mellach CCGT power plant counts among the highest-volume contracts ever to have been signed.

After commissioning of the combined cycle power plant in 2011, this will supply an annual amount of more than 5 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of environmentally friendly electricity as well as approx. 800 million kWh of district heating and thus contribute significantly to the security of supply of energy in Styria. The new plant, powered by environmentally friendly natural gas, fulfils the strictest EU criteria through the implementation of state-of-the-art technology. Through the use of natural gas, the generated electricity will be more than double that of the ATP power plant park of 1999 and the accumulating CO2 emissions greatly reduced. The CCGT power plant is incorporated into the CO2 certificate trading system, which is why the specified climate targets (CO2 balance) for Austria or, specifically, Styria, will not be affected.

To the strongly growing Styrian economy, the combined cycle power plant of Mellach will entail the security of a continued economic dynamic at both state-of-the-art technological and environmentally compatible level. Moreover, it provides the necessary momentum for the extension of the gas grid for Styria, and, hence, represents an additional contribution to the supply of energy for the growing business location.

The investment will create a high level of indirect profitability in the region during the construction phase and periodical maintenance during operation and will forseeably generate an economic value added in Austria of EUR 130 billion. All in all, 500 to 600 skilled workers will be employed on the construction site during peak periods at the Mellach location, in addition to approx. 25 permanent positions being created in the new power plant.

"The power plant's essential components come from Austria," Dipl.-Ing. Gunter Kappacher, Chairman of the Board of Siemens AG Österreich, explained. "Overall planning, engineering and project management represent Austrian engineering expertise from the House of Siemens. Additional major supplies and services, such as the transformers (from the Siemens plant in Weiz), construction, pipelines or assembly are all implemented by Austrian companies."

The energy sector of Siemens Austria employs over 5,000 workers in the CEE cluster (Central and Eastern Europe), 1,700 of whom are employed in Austria alone.

Key figures of the Mellach combined cycle gas turbine power plant:

Start of construction: Beginning of 2009
Duration of construction: approx. 35 months
Commissioning: planned for 2011
Investment volume: approx. 550 million Euro
Net electrical capacity: approx. 830 MW electrical
District heating capacity (maximum): 400 MW thermal
Annual electrical capacity: more than 5 billion kWh
District heating capacity: approx. 800 million kWh
Efficiency approx. 59 % (pure condensing mode)
approx. 72 % (district heating)