Uniper's Irsching 3 power plant temporarily returns to the market next year
- Use within the framework of the Substitute Power Plant Provision Act to save natural gas and prepare for a potential gas curtailment
- Decommissioning will still take place end of 2023
Uniper will return the Irsching 3 power plant in Vohburg on the Danube to the market from February 2023 until the end of 2023 to strengthen security of supply in southern Germany. Uniper made the announcement today on the transparency platform of the German power trading exchange EEX. The measure is being carried out as part of the German government's "Ersatzkraftwerkebereithaltungsgesetz" to secure the energy supply in the coming winters. This law pursues the goal of using as little gas as possible for electricity generation and replacing it with other energy sources. Previously, Uniper had already reactivated the two hard coal-fired power plants Heyden 4 (875 megawatts) and Scholven C (345 MW) within this framework.
The power plant, which runs on light fuel oil and has a net electrical output of 415 MW, will essentially serve as a back-up for the rest of Uniper's power plant portfolio to avoid critical situations in the grid in case of gas scarcity during the aforementioned period, producing electricity under the constraints from the existing operational and environmental permits. Currently, the power plant is held in grid reserve by the grid operator TenneT. The final decommissioning after about ten years in grid reserve is scheduled for 31 December 2023. Unit 3 was commissioned in 1974. Irsching 3 will not be available between 30 May and 28 June 2023 due to overhaul work.
In addition to unit 3, the Irsching site also consists of two gas-fired units (4 and 5). The Ulrich Hartmann power plant (unit 4) has a capacity of 561 MW and went into operation in 2011. With an efficiency of 60.4 per cent, it is one of the most efficient CCGT plants in the world. The Irsching 5 joint-venture power plant was commissioned in 2010. With an efficiency of 59.7 per cent, it is one of the most modern CCGT plants in Europe. In addition to Uniper with 50.2 percent of the shares, N-ERGIE (25.2 percent), Mainova (15.6 percent) and ENTEGA (9 percent) have stakes in Irsching 5.
A new gas turbine (unit 6) is also currently being built at the site, which is intended to serve as a so-called "special grid-technical resource" for grid stability. This new unit is scheduled to go into operation in 2023.
Düsseldorf-based Uniper is an international energy company with activities in more than 40 countries. With around 7,000 employees, it makes an important contribution to security of supply in Europe. Uniper’s core businesses are power generation in Europe, global energy trading, and a broad gas portfolio. Uniper procures gas – including liquefied natural gas (LNG) – and other energy sources on global markets. The company owns and operates gas storage facilities with a capacity of more than 7 billion cubic meters. Uniper plans for its 22.5 GW of installed power-generating capacity in Europe to be carbon-neutral by 2035. The company already ranks among Europe’s largest operators of hydroelectric plants and intends to further expand solar and wind energy, which are essential for a more sustainable and autonomous future.
Uniper is a reliable partner for communities, municipal utilities, and industrial enterprises for planning and implementing innovative, lower-carbon solutions on their decarbonization journey. Uniper is a hydrogen pioneer, is active worldwide along the entire hydrogen value chain, and is conducting projects to make hydrogen a mainstay of the energy supply.
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