Around three years after the start of construction, a new gas-fired power plant is scheduled to go on the electricity market this Friday. The operators emphasize the high efficiency and the contribution to security of supply.

In Herne in the Ruhr area, a new gas and steam turbine power plant (GaD) is scheduled to go into commercial operation on Friday. The power plant called “Herne 6” is to generate electricity and district heating. The Steag energy group and the Siemens technology group each own half.

The plant has an electrical output of 608 megawatts and a thermal output of 400 megawatts, as reported by Steag GmbH. According to earlier information, up to 250,000 households in the Ruhr area can be heated with the heat produced in combined heat and power (CHP).

The two companies invested a “middle three-digit million amount”. According to earlier information from Siemens, the plant achieves an overall degree of utilization of the fuel natural gas of over 85 percent.

“Due to its high level of efficiency, the new GuD Herne will help to save natural gas – as is currently politically required – because the plant uses significantly less natural gas to generate the same output than older gas-fired power plants,” explained a Steag spokesman. The plant can also be partially operated with hydrogen. Initially only electricity will probably be produced. Heat extraction will initially continue via the Herne 4 hard coal unit.

“The system is needed to stabilize the electricity grid and the electricity market because it can provide base load around the clock,” said the spokesman. In a way, it becomes “the backup for a secure power supply”. The current marketing situation is good. Several electricity suppliers have secured base load electricity volumes through futures transactions. “We buy the natural gas we need to generate electricity on the gas market.”

A trial run had already begun on August 3rd. Final acceptance is planned for September 2nd. “From this point in time, the system can participate in the electricity market at any time, provided this makes economic sense,” it said.