Sustec sells to Siemens

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Siemens' Power Generation Group (PG) is expanding its power plant business by acquiring the technology and engineering activities of Swiss holding company Sustec Group. This acquisition comprises the German firm Future Energy and a 50 per cent stake in its Chinese joint venture with the Shenhua Ningxia Coal Group.

Approval from the anti-trust authorities for the acquisition of the Sustec Group is still pending. The value of the transaction has not been undisclosed.

Siemens also plans to build a large-scale coal gasification plant with an overall thermal capacity of more than 1000 MW at Spreetal in Saxony.

The Sustec Group process known as “GSP entrained flow gasification” can use biomass as well as petroleum coke and refinery residues as feedstocks. In recent months, several contracts for large-scale coal gasification projects were awarded to the Sustec Group, three of which are located in China.

After completion of construction and the subsequent test phase, the plant in Spreetal is scheduled to start commercial production in three years. The syngas (synthesis gas resulting from gasification processes) produced will be used for power generation and production of roughly 600,000 tonnes of methanol per year.

In recent years, the demand for steam power plants has risen considerably. The primary driver of this development is China’s immense market and vast coal reserves. Other important markets such as the US are showing increased interest in coal based power generation, including the application of clean coal technologies.

“The share of electric power generated by coal-fired power plants will remain significant,“ said Klaus Voges, chairman of the Siemens Power Generation group managing board.

In response to persistently high natural gas prices as well as more and more stringent demands in terms of climate protection and supply reliability, the interest in solutions for clean coal power generation is on the rise. “Against this backdrop, innovative power plant concepts for environmentally compatible conversion of coal to electricity such as integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants gain decisive importance,” Voges said.