Owners of the Irsching 4 and 5 gas-fired power stations announce closure again

  • The latest "Made in Germany" technology is ageing on the substitutes' bench
  • Political framework conditions continue to prevent the cost-effective operation of ultra-efficient gas-fired power stations

The owners of the state-of-the-art gas-fired power station Irsching 5, Uniper, N-ERGIE, Mainova and ENTEGA, have announced the closure of the power block to the Federal Network Agency and the network operator TenneT. The companies have already been forced to take this action once before – two years ago. Now the owners can once again see no viable market prospects for the power plant from 1 April 2018 onwards and are therefore once again announcing their intention to mothball the power plant. Alongside this – and for the same reasons – Uniper, as the sole owner of the Irsching 4 gas-fired power station, has also announced the mothballing of that block as of 1 April 2018.

Ultra-efficient and modern gas-fired power stations such as Irsching 4 and 5 are particularly well suited to cushioning the high fluctuations of power generated from wind and solar power sources in the short-term. Yet this safeguard, upon which every electricity consumer in Germany relies, is not given appropriate remuneration. In fact, statutory requirements force owners to provide these services at prices below cost – a situation that owners find untenable and which they also believe to be unconstitutional.

When the Electricity Market Act (Strommarktgesetz) was passed in the summer of 2016, the opportunity to establish a sustainable market design in order to offer economic prospects to flexible and highly efficient gas-fired power stations on the market was squandered. During the next legislative session, it is therefore all the more important that flexible gas-fired power stations are finally given their rightful place alongside renewable energies on the market. System services, the significance of which will continue to grow in the years to come in light of the energy revolution, must be remunerated appropriately.


Irsching 5 has a power output of 846 Megawatts and went into operation in 2010. With 59.7 percent efficiency, it is one of the most advanced gas-fired power stations in Europe. It is operated by Uniper Kraftwerke GmbH on behalf of the owner companies. Uniper holds 50.2 percent of the shares, N-ERGIE 25.2 percent, Mainova 15.6 percent and ENTEGA 9 percent of company shares. Irsching 4, with its 550 Megawatt power went operational in 2011 and is one of the most efficient gas-fired power stations in the world with an efficiency of 60.4 percent. Both power blocks fall under the Reserve Power Plants Ordinance (Netzreserveverordnung). This means that they are only used when needed to stabilize the network. This is the case when the grid in Southern Germany needs extra support due to temporary bottlenecks.

Contact for queries: 

Uniper SE

Georg Oppermann / Leif Erichsen

+49 211-45 79-5532

+49 2 11-45 79-3570




Michael Ortmanns

+61 51-7 01-11 60




Mainova AG

Dr. Thomas Breuer

+69 213-2 54 91



Dr. Heidi Willer

+911 8 02-5 80 63


This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by the Uniper SE Management and other information currently available to Uniper. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors may lead to material differences between the actual results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. Uniper SE does not intend to update these forward-looking statements or to adjust them to future events or developments and does not assume any liability whatsoever for them.