Investment of EUR 50 million in the future of the paper mill
The comprehensively modernised combined heat and power plant of Papierfabrik Palm in Eltmann was inaugurated today combined with a celebratory ceremony. With investments totalling 50 million euros, a new gas turbine and a new steam turbine have been installed in the power plant. By modernising the 15-year-old units, the efficiency of the combined heat and power plant has significantly increased.
Previously, the Palm power plant was designed to generate the paper mill's own demand for electricity and steam. With the modernisation, it has become possible not only to completely cover the mill's own needs with both turbines at full load, but also generates enough power to supply electricity to all residents in the district of Haßberge with still enough spare capacity to supply the same size district again.
The heart of the CHP plant is the new SGT 800 gas turbine from Siemens Energy. This is the latest and most modern gas turbine generation from Siemens Energy. The gas turbine can be powered with green hydrogen, making it CO2 neutral. Palm has thus created the technical environment for completely carbon-free paper production in terms of its entire electricity and steam requirements. However, it will still take a few years until a hydrogen pipeline leads to Eltmann. Palm is already in discussion with the upstream gas grid operators to support and drive forward the realisation.
Furthermore, during the modernisation, particular emphasis was placed on significantly increased flexibility. By installing additional systems and components, it was possible to significantly reduce the start-up and shut-down times with the latest technology. This makes the combined heat and power plant an ideal supplement to the weather-related fluctuations in renewable electricity generation. If, for example, the available electricity from wind and photovoltaics is too little (dark lull), the gas turbine is ramped up for a short time and operated at full capacity. If there is too much electricity in the grid, the gas turbine is shut down and the entire electricity demand is drawn from the grid to relieve the load. Palm is making a significant contribution to the success of renewable energies. The regional supply also means that no large overland power lines are needed.
Palm's power plant, which is based on the principle of combined heat and power generation with an efficiency of over 90%, fully meets the objectives of the German government to promote regional and flexible electricity producers.
Due to its high flexibility and grid management properties, as well as its relevance for security of supply, the responsible electricity transmission grid operator TenneT has also classified this CHP plant as one of a few power plants in the control area as system-relevant, which underlines the importance of the overall system..
The energy turnaround can only succeed if secured power generation capacities are available as a supplement and can produce electricity when needed. With this highly modern and flexible combined heat and power plant, Palm is making a significant contribution to this.