Balance of power

RWE Power

is launching the Power Barges project at E-World: a scheme that will see combined-cycle gas turbine power stations built on floating pontoons.

The first RWE power barges are expected to be available from 2010. Possible areas for deployment include bordering countries in the eastern Mediterranean and on the Black Sea – regions where RWE is already active.

RWE claims that a number of target countries do not have sufficient capacity of their own to cover their rising electricity needs until 2015-16. Peaks in demand arise particularly in the summer months when air-conditioning units are running and electricity grids reach their limits during peak load hours.

‘We will be able to provide electricity quickly and reliably exactly where it is needed at a given time,’ said Dr Johannes Lambertz, chief executive officer of RWE Power. ‘It is also a low-risk way of exploring new growth markets for large projects on land.’

Outside Europe, approximately 60 floating power stations with a total capacity of more than 4GW are already in operation.

The barges are pulled to their location by tug boats, where they are anchored and connected to the gas or electricity grid.

RWE Power says that it has already started an EU-wide call for tenders for the pilot barge.

‘We are also looking for partner companies in the target countries who can support us with expertise and local knowledge in selecting locations and the authorisation procedure,’ said Lambertz.