CCGT power plant: Marl Chemical Park gets up steam

Marl Chemical Park is one of the largest integrated chemical complexes in Europe and the main production location of Evonik Industries AG. In an area three times the size of Monaco, some 4.4 million tonnes of products are manufactured every year and exported worldwide. Three local power stations produce the energy requirements of around 100 production facilities. The replacement of an old coal-fired power station by a modern combined cycle gas and steam turbine (CCGT) power plant increases the flexibility of the whole electricity and steam network at the Chemical Park and saves 280,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Providing jobs for 10,000 people, Marl Chemical Park is one of the largest employers in the northern Ruhr. As operator, Evonik Technology & Infrastructure GmbH provides the entire infrastructure for the businesses based there, so that they can concentrate on their core activities. To meet the companies’ energy requirements, Evonik runs three industrial power plants with combined heat and power generation. The combined generation of electricity and steam enables maximum extraction of energy from the fuels, and so saves valuable resources. Compared with separate generation, this results in an efficiency advantage of 10 per cent and saves 280,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.

Engine for progress:

  • savings of 280,000 tonnes of CO2 annually
  • fuel economy of 500 GWh/year
  • increase in efficiency of the energy network by up to 5 per cent
  • reduction of overall energy costs through participation in the energy balancing market
  • reduction of pollutant emissions
  • savings of 16 million m3 of water per year

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Photo: Evonik

The new combined cycle gas and steam turbine power plant at Marl Chemical Park.

New gas and steam turbine plant increases flexibility

The annual electricity requirement of Marl Chemical Park is around 2.3 billion kilowatt-hours. That is the equivalent of the consumption of 500,000 households. To meet this electricity requirement from renewable energy sources would need around 400 wind turbines. But for chemical production, steam is at least as essential an energy source as electricity. Marl Chemical Park needs 6.5 million tonnes yearly – the heat equivalent of a billion bathtubs. For this energy requirement to be continually, economically and efficiently met, maximum flexibility is needed. With the integration of the new highly efficient plant in the energy network, Evonik is increasing flexibility and ensuring that the energy supply of Marl Chemical Park remains competitive and sustainable. The gas turbine of the new plant can be run at a load range of 50 to 100 per cent. At the same time, the steam mass flow in the waste heat boiler necessary for the smooth operation of the chemical facilities can be controlled through variable additional firing. The combined heat and power generation technology results in a fuel conversion efficiency rate of over 89 per cent. Thanks to the flexible operation, the efficiency of the overall energy network has increased by up to 5 per cent. At the same time, the new investments have brought about a reduction of 280,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

Meeting the requirements of the transformation of the energy system

The interaction between the new combined cycle gas and steam turbine power plant and the existing energy network enables the provision of a local, decentralised supply of electricity and steam, which meets the flexibility requirements of the transformation of the energy system. The installation can go from standby to powering the grid in 15 minutes, and can change its load within five minutes, if there is too much or too little electricity in the upstream network. In the case of power cuts, an off-mains independent power supply of the Marl Chemical Park is possible.

Photo: Evonik

“Energy and climate protection are existential topics for us. The transformation of the energy system and industrial activities must be reconciled. The strength of the Chemical Park lies in the close networking of energy and material flows as well as the combined heat and power generation. New technologies and flexible load management are driving forward the future version of the Chemical Park as an energy platform.”

Andreas Steidle, Head of Energy Department, Evonik

Partners and sponsors

  • Evonik Technology & Infrastructure GmbH
  • E.ON Energy Projects GmbH