Jenbachers start arriving at German power plant

By Jack Burke10 March 2021

J920 FleXtra gas engines offer 50 MW

The first of five Jenbacher engines has been delivered for the new gas engine power plant Römerbrücke (GAMOR) run by utility company Energie SaarLorLux.

The journey from Jenbach to Saarbrücken via Munich, Nuremberg, Würzburg, and Frankfurt, with some stretches covered at speeds of just 3 mph (5 km/h), represents a major logistical achievement. This is borne out by the fact that roundabouts, roadworks, and weak bridges have to be circumvented and no-stopping and no-parking zones created so that all five engines plus auxiliary equipment can reach their destination by March 16 as planned.

The district heating plant Römerbrücke operated by Energie SaarLorLux in Saarbrücken was converted to gas as its primary fuel in 2003. The commissioning of the additional, new gas power plant in 2022 will result in the complete phaseout of coal which lately has only been used to cover peak loads.

At the heart of the new gas engine power plant Römerbrücke (GAMOR) are five Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engines with an output totaling 50 MW and an overall efficiency of up to 92%. In the years ahead, GAMOR will be able to supply around 65,000 households with electricity and 13 000 homes with district heating.

Germany intends to phase out coal entirely by 2038 at the latest; in this coming year alone, coal-fired power plants with a total output of 12.5 GW are projected to go offline. Due to its early phaseout of coal, the project in Saarbrücken is exemplary for Germany.

“By bringing in our new INNIO Jenbacher CHP plant, the generation of power and district heating from coal will soon be a thing of the past in Saarbrücken. In the future we’ll save more than 60 000 metric tons of CO2 a year compared to the old coal-fired facility,” said Joachim Morsch, board member and spokesman from Energie SaarLorLux, as he explained the environmental benefits of the project.

“The new GAMOR gas power plant in Saarbrücken once again highlights the significant role our Jenbacher engines have to play as a key technology in the energy transition. And we are already prepared for the next step: converting our natural gas engines to hydrogen operation, something that is already possible here and now,” stated Joachim Maier, director of INNIO Jenbacher GmbH in Germany.

Because Jenbacher gas engines offer highly flexible deployment and can be ramped up to full load in less than five minutes, they are responsible for playing an important part in stabilizing the grid, INNIO said. Additionally, Jenbacher gas engines can help facilitate grid stabilization in the event of a blackout, thereby ensuring Saarbrücken residents benefit from a secure electricity supply – a task which 4000 INNIO Jenbacher gas engines have already undertaken when Europe experienced its latest near-blackout at the beginning of this year.

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