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RWE to retrofit Eemshaven and Amer 9 for biomass co-firing

Germany-headed energy utility major RWE AG has confirmed that it is to retrofit its two Dutch hard coal-fired power plants Amer 9 and Eemshaven for co-firing with biomass.

According to a statement released in conjunction with its 2017 first half year report, the Executive Board of RWE Generation decided in January and June to retrofit its two Dutch hard coal-fired power plants Amer 9 and Eemshaven for co-firing with biomass. The background for these decisions is that the Dutch state approved subsidies of up to EUR 2.6 billion for the two plants over an eight year period.

Along with the retrofitting, the subsidies will also finance the additional expenses for procuring fuel. The subsidies are allocated so that Amer 9 can achieve a biomass ratio of 80 percent, instead of the previous 35 percent and Eemshaven a ratio of around 15 percent.

The Amer 9 power station has been in operation since 1993, with a net capacity of 643 MW. The twin unit at Eemshaven has a capacity of 1 554 MW and has been generating power since 2014.

After retrofitting, the company estimates that it will require an annual total of 2.5 million tonnes of biomass, primarily wood pellets. This will be sourced from Europe and North America, ensuring that the requirements of the Dutch sustainability protocol for biomass are satisfied. The protocol was developed by the Dutch government together with energy companies and non-governmental organizations and will be enacted in legislation in 2017.

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