Statkraft to build 800 MW gas-fired power plant near Cologne, Germany

27.06.2005 08:00 | pressrelease

(Oslo, 27 June 2005) Statkraft has decided to build and operate a large, modern gas-fired power plant in Knapsack, outside Cologne, Germany. The new plant will give a considerable boost to the Statkraft Group’s own, flexible power production in Continental Europe. The Knapsack facility is the second gas-fired power plant that Statkraft is planning in Germany. It will strengthen the group’s international power trading activities and establish Statkraft as a power producer also outside Scandinavia.

“The Knapsack gas power plant represents a strategic quantum leap for us in Europe. Control over generating capacity on the Continent will strengthen our power trading activities and give us a firm foundation in a market that is in the process of deregulation. The gas-fired power plant (CCGT) will be built using the best available technology,” says Statkraft’s CEO Bård Mikkelsen.

The plant, to be built in Knapsack, near Cologne in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, will be owned and operated by a Statkraft subsidiary specifically established for that purpose. The power plant will be located in the Knapsack Chemiepark industrial estate, the site of many major industrial companies. Preparatory foundation work has already been completed, and the plant is scheduled to go into operation during the autumn of 2007. The project has received an overall environmental licence from Germany’s federal authorities. This includes all the permits necessary under German law for the construction and operation of the power plant.

Illustration of the plant

The plant will have a generating capacity of 800 MW and a total annual output of between 4 and 5 TWh. It will be built using the best available technology within the areas of energy efficiency, safety and the environment.

Development of the Knapsack project was initiated by the British company PowerGen at the end of the 1990s. The project was sold to the US company InterGen in 2000, with Statkraft acquiring the project company which owns the rights to the Knapsack power plant from InterGen in March this year.

It is estimated that the plant will cost a total of EUR 400 million. Statkraft has entered into a long term Power Purchase Agreement with Essent for 33% of the plant’s output. This agreement establishes a win-win partnership with the Dutch utility supporting Essent’s German operations and reduces the investment risk of Statkraft.

The basic fuel supply with natural gas will be provided long-term by Wingas GmbH, Kassel. During the development phase the fruitful cooperation with InfraServKnapsack und RWE Transportnetz Strom was crucial for successfully finalising the project.

The Knapsack facility is the second gas-fired power plant in Germany that Statkraft has decided to invest in. At the end of May Statkraft’s board approved plans to invest in a gas-fired power plant in Herdecke, near Dortmund. Statkraft owns 50 per cent of that power plant, which has a generating capacity of 400 MW.

Statkraft aims to be a European leader in environment-friendly energy. Based on more than 100 years of knowledge and investments, the Statkraft Group is well equipped for further growth and development – and has a clearly stated desire to create lasting value. Statkraft stands for sustainable development in both an environmental and a financial sense. The group produces a total of 41 TWh per year, making it the third-largest producer of electricity in the Nordic region and the second-largest producer of renewable energy in Europe. The group has approximately 2,000 employees including the subsidiaries Skagerak Energi and Trondheim Energiverk. Statkraft also has shareholdings in the Norwegian power companies BKK, Agder Energi and Fjordkraft, as well as in the Swedish company Sydkraft.

Essent N.V., Arnhem, has a power generating capacity of approximately 5,000 MW, a power sales volume of over 49 TWh, and gas sales of more than 15 billion m3. Total turnover in 2004 was 7.4 billion Euros. The company has more than 12,000 employees serving more than 2.6 million clients. Since 2000, Deutsche Essent GmbH, Düsseldorf, has been operating as a holding company for the German subsidiaries of Essent N.V., Arnhem. Owning a 51 % share in swb AG, Bremen, Essent also has an indirect interest in the German utility companies of Bremerhaven, Bielefeld, Gütersloh, Soltau, Greifswald, and Ahlen. In KOM-STROM AG, Leipzig, Deutsche Essent has a stake of 51 %. With its gas storage in Epe, Deutsche Essent additionally has a technical platform from which to expand its gas business. The company’s 100% subsidiary WINKRA, Hanover, is the leading German developer and operator of wind parks. In Germany, Essent has a direct and indirect power generation portfolio of more than 1,100 MW, a power sales volume of app. 8.2 TWh and a sales gas volume of app. 9.9 TWh.