Uniper extends operations of coal power plants as part of EK

Decision taken to extend market operation of Heyden 4 and Staudinger 5 hard coal-fired power plants until March 31, 2024

Uniper, the German energy company, has said that it is extending the market operation of the Heyden 4 and Staudinger 5 hard coal-fired power plants until March 31, 2024, at the least.

In an announcement on the transparency platform of the German power trading exchange (EEX), Uniper said that the measure is being taken as part of the German government’s Substitute Power Plant Provision Act (EKBG) to secure the energy supply in coming winters. 

The law pursues the goal of using as little gas as possible for power generation and replacing it with other energy sources. Power plants are used within the framework of the EKBG to save natural gas and prepare for possible gas shortages, the statement said.

The Heyden 4 power plant in Petershagen near Minden had already ceased commercial operation after an award in the first tender to reduce coal-fired power generation but returned to the market on 29/08/2022 from the grid reserve on the basis of the EKBG and the associated first ordinance, the company said. 

This first ordinance only allowed a return to the market until 30/04/2023. Now this term has been extended and continued operation is allowed until 31/03/2024 at the most, the company said. The power plant has a total capacity of 875 MW.

The Staudinger 5 hard coal-fired power plant near Hanau would have had to cease commercial operation on 21/05/2023 due to the award in the fourth tender to reduce coal-fired power generation. Instead of being used only in the grid reserve from 22/05/2023 onwards. 

It is now going to remain the market, also on the basis of the EKBG. Staudinger 5 has a total capacity of 510 MW and contributes significantly to security of supply in Germany.

Supporting Germany’s Energy Security

Both power plants will be used commercially to support the security of energy supply in Germany. At the same time, Uniper is currently preparing for the continued operation of the Scholven B hard coal-fired power plant (345 MW) in Gelsenkirchen beyond June 2023.

With Heyden 4 (875 MW), Scholven C (345 MW), Irsching 3 (415 MW) and Staudinger 5 (510 MW), Uniper has now brought around 2.150 MW of reliable capacity back into the German electricity market to reduce gas consumption during the current shortage situation, the statement concluded.


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