Statkraft Inaugurates Second Gas Power Plant in Hürth-Knapsack

13.06.2013 08.00 | pressrelease

(Hürth-Knapsack, Germany, June 13, 2013) Statkraft, Europe's largest producer of renewable energy, today officially inaugurated its second combined cycle gas turbine power plant (CCGT) at the site in Hürth-Knapsack. The company has now completed the modernization of its gas power portfolio. In 2012 and 2013, the company has already taken older capacities to the amount of 900 MW off the market.

“In less than two years, we built a state-of-the-art CCGT at the site in Hürth-Knapsack. It is now available to support the production of renewable energies with environmentally friendly gas power,” explains Dr. Horst Kesselmeier, head of project development at Statkraft. With an efficiency factor of almost 60 percent, the plant belongs to the most modern gas and steam turbine power plants worldwide. Knapsack II has generation capacities of 430 MW and will be able to provide electricity for 500,000 households at full capacity. The Norwegian company has been operating a gas and steam turbine power plant with 800 MW capacity at the same site since 2007. To begin operations in Knapsack II, the workforce in Hürth has been increased from 70 to approximately 80 employees.

“With our investment, we are currently in a rather unsatisfactory situation for our company. The expansion of renewable energies continues, while emission trading as a control instrument practically does not exist any longer. This, in combination with high gas prices, leads to gas no longer being an economical option as an environmentally friendly addition to a regenerative system,” says Dr. Jürgen Tzschoppe, Senior Vice President Energy Management at Statkraft .

Statkraft is still convinced that gas-fired power represents the most efficient and climate-friendly technology to secure the production of renewable energy. However, from the company’s point of view, the wait and see attitude when it comes to capacity markets is causing stranded investments in the billions. “Virtually all our dialog partners agree that capacity markets are necessary in the long term,” states Tzschoppe. The introduction - according to Statkraft - is being pushed out at the moment, because Germany currently has sufficient capacities to secure the supply. “Emergency decrees are currently being made that defy the logic of market competition. For us as an investor it is unacceptable that these stranded investments are systematically taken into account. Additionally, there is the risk of significantly higher follow-up costs caused by unnecessary shutdowns,“ warns Tzschoppe.

However, in addition to all the criticism, the company also sees positive developments in Germany. Statkraft views the intense discussions on the system integration of renewable energy as a central and important step towards a successful energy transition. “At least at this point, the competitive spirit seems to be winning more and more support in the German energy system,” said Tzschoppe.

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About Statkraft:
Statkraft is Europe's largest generator of renewable energy and is the leading power company in Norway. The company owns, produces and develops hydropower, wind power, gas power and district heating. Statkraft is a major player in European power trading and has 3,600 employees in more than 20 countries.