New coal gasification plant by RWE to use CCS

German power company RWE has announced plans to build a 450 megawatt coal-fired integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power station with carbon capture and storage (CCS) at its Goldenbergwerk site near Cologne.

The choice of IGCC is unusual. Only four demonstration IGCC plants have been built, the largest being the 330MW facility in Puertollano, Spain. None capture and store CO2 . Most proposed new power stations use supercritical steam technology, where energy-intensive post-combustion CCS must be used.

IGCC promises to make CCS an integral part of the process and therefore more efficient and less costly. However, the UK government’s competition to fund CCS is limited to post-combustion (ENDS Report 396, pp 26-29 ).

RWE says the project will cost €2 billion and could be commissioned in 2014. RWE is willing to invest half the sum, so its future will depend on finding other partners to fund it.