Nuon to close 253 MW Dutch coal-fired plant on 1 April
(Montel) Nuon will close its Dutch 253 MW Willem-Alexander coal-fired plant at Buggenum, in the Dutch province of Limburg, on 1 April, the company said on Monday.
“The persistent low energy prices combined with the high cost basis of the plant makes a profitable operation impossible,” the subsidiary of Swedish utility Vattenfall added in a statement.
The Willem-Alexander plant entered service in 1993 as a coal gasification demonstration plant, but the use of this coal-based technology makes it a relatively complex facility with high cost levels, the firm said.
In Linkedin there has been an ongoing discussion about the possibilities for pellets in the plant
In Buggenum there was already a lot of experience with co-gasification of biomass, especially white wood pellets. The maximum biomass share was about 15% on energy basis. There are several limitations which have to do with the fact that the plant was designed for gasification of coal only. Some of them can be solved quite straightforward.
However there is one fundamental issue. The Buggenum entrained-flow, slagging gasifier is operated at 1500°C. That temperature is suitable for gasification of coal, but too high for gasification of biomass. The cold gas efficiency for gasification of biomass at such a high temperature is lower, resulting in higher contents of CO2 and water vapor in syngas and a higher heat input to the syngas cooler.
In this respect thermal pretreatment of biomass offers a huge advantage. The results of the tests in Buggenum were in accordance with thermodynamic calculations. The decrease of cold gas efficiency was much lower compared to co-gasification of untreated wood, which made it possible to replace up to 70% coal by torrefied wood without modifications to the plant.