Topping-out ceremony held at Statkraft's gas-fired power plant outside Cologne, Germany

30.06.2006 08:00 | pressrelease

(Oslo, 30 June 2006) Statkraft yesterday celebrated a topping-out ceremony together with 450 construction workers at the gas-fired power plant in Knapsack near Cologne.Nine months after the laying down of the foundation stone, the power plant buildings have been completed and are now ready for the installation of the large gas and steam turbines.The cutting-edge plant with a generating capacity of 800 MW will give the Statkraft Groupaccess to its own, flexible power production in Continental Europe.

"Construction of the gas-fired power plant is proceeding as planned, and the topping-out ceremony is therefore also a way of celebrating that everything is on schedule with our first power plant in Germany. Having our own generating capacity on the European continent, built using the best available technology, will strengthen Statkraft's power trading activities and give us a firm foundation in a market that is becoming increasingly more open," says Statkraft's CEO Bård Mikkelsen.

Ready for cutting-edge technology

The gas power plant in Knapsack, near Cologne in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, is wholly owned by Statkraft. The power plant is being built in the Knapsack Chemiepark industrial estate, the site of many major industrial companies.

The topping-out ceremony marks completion of more than 70 per cent of the construction work, and the fact that the plant buildings are ready for the installation of leading-edge components such as gas turbines, steam turbines and the boiler system. The first of the two gas turbines, each weighing more than 300 tonnes, will arrive at the construction site in a couple of months.

Environment-friendly energy from gas power

The plant is scheduled to go into commercial operation in Europe's largest energy market in the summer of 2007. The power plant will have a generating capacity of 800 MW and a total annual output of up to 6 TWh. It will be built using the best available technology within the areas of energy efficiency, safety and the environment. The total cost is estimated at around EUR 400 million.

The Knapsack facility is the first of two gas-fired power plants Statkraft is building in Germany. A gas power plant with a capacity of 400 MW is being constructed in Herdecke, near Dortmund. Statkraft owns 50 per cent of this power plant. In addition, Statkraft owns 50 per cent of Naturkraft, which is building a 418 MW gas-fired power plant at Kårstø, Norway. Statkraft's forthcoming gas-fired power plants will be part of the European quota system for greenhouse gases. The gas power plants in Germany will primarily replace far more polluting coal power. Gas-fired power plants built with the best technology available today emit approximately 50 per cent less CO2 and up to nine times less NOx than coal-fired power plants.

Statkraft is Europe's second largest company within renewable energy. We produce hydropower and wind power, we build gas-fired power plants and we focus on innovation with a clear ambition to deliver the energy solutions for the future. We are a considerable actor on the European Power Exchanges, with special expertise within physical and financial power trading. For 2005 we had a total balance sheet of about 11 billion Euros. We control power from 156 power plants. More than 2000 employees in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands and Great Britain create value every day. Together we strive to be a European leader in environment- friendly energy.