“As a provider of flexible energy, we will continue to operate gas-fired power plants as an integral part of the power generation system,” says Asbjørn Grundt, Executive Vice President in Statkraft. “But the current market situation calls for a reassessment of our generation portfolio. Unfortunately, Emden cannot be run profitably as of yet and due to limited remaining operating hours Statkraft has decided to put it in cold reserve.”
Plans to replace the old plant with a new one in the same location have been put on hold. “Currently we do not see any market signals in favour of investments into additional generation capacity in Germany”, explains Dr. Jürgen Tzschoppe, Senior Vice President, Head of Continental Energy at Statkraft. “Energy demand has leveled out as a result of the financial crisis. At the same time, we are facing high gas costs and low power prices at the spot market, indicating excess capacities across Europe.”
The employees affected by the change will be offered, where possible, alternative positions within Statkraft. It will now be determined in detail how many of the 56 employees in Emden are needed for a stand-alone biomass operation. “Reduction of staff will be handled in close dialogue with the employees,” assures Gerd Töpken, Head of the Emden-Landesbergen power plant group. “We are cooperating closely with the works council to ensure that we find a solution that works for all parties involved. Statkraft will, of course, fulfill all obligations towards its 10 apprentices. All of them will be given the chance to complete their education in Emden.”
With the Emden gas-fired power plant in cold reserve, Statkraft will have three operational gas-fired power plants in Germany located in Hürth-Knapsack, Landesbergen and Herdecke. A modern 430 MW combined cycle gas-to-power plant is under construction on the Knapsack site and will provide energy to approximately 500.000 households by mid 2013. “In total, these measures ensure a competitive gas-to-power portfolio in the German market,” Asbjørn Grundt says.