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Amer power plant

Hard coal and biomass fired powerplant

Facts and figures

Power plant location Geertruidenberg, the Netherlands
Power plant type Hard-coal- and biomass-fired power plant
Commissioned in 1993
Fuel Hard coal, biomass
Output (net) 600 MW electricity, 350 MW district heat
Flue gas cleaning Electrostatic filters, denitrification and flue gas desulphurisation plant

Electricity and heat

The Amer power plant in Geertruidenberg, the Netherlands, is one of RWE's larger generation facilities. The cogeneration plant has been in operation since 1993 and generates electricity and heat. This unit has sufficient capacity to generate electricity for around one million households. The heat generated in the same unit is used to heat greenhouses on the Plukmadesepolder in Drimmelen and also supplies the town of Geertruidenberg as well as a quarter of Breda and Tilburg with district heat.

The raw materials

Different fuels are used in the Amer power plant, the main types being hard coal and biomass, which are delivered by inland vessels and pulverised into dust prior to combustion. Biomass is supplied in the form of wood pellets, i.e. compacted pieces of sawdust. To enable processing of the wood pellets, the power plant has a special biomass unloading quay, with facilities for storing biomass in different silos. The pellets are brought to the plant using a pneumatic transport system.

Wood gas

In the wood gasification plant, construction timber and waste timber is gasified into wood gas using state-of-the-art technology. The gas produced in this way is purified and then co-fired with the other fuels in the power plant boiler. This system is currently not in use. In the coming years it will be upgraded and put back into operation if sufficient subsidies become available. Since biomass and wood gas from waste timber are more sustainable, but also more expensive fuels than hard coal, subsidies are important. Test results indicate that a large proportion of hard coal could be replaced by biomass from sustainable forestry. Provisions for schemes of this type have been made in the Dutch National Energy Agreement. At present, 50% of the coal at the Amer power station is already being replaced by biomass. By the end of 2020, this will have risen to 80%, which means that this unit has actually become a biomass power plant.

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