An era comes to an end: Last piece of coal fired at Oberkirch combined heat and power plant

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Converting the combined heat and power plant from hard coal to biomass requires extensive conversion work. Now that Biomass Receiving Area 1 and four new silos have been completed, the material handling equipment and the conveying path from the silos to the power plant are being worked on. In addition, building services are being installed at Biomass Receiving Area 2. This new material handling equipment will be used to transfer biomass to the boiler inside the power plant in the future.

Coal is now a thing of the past in Oberkirch

The large-scale project hit another milestone in the beginning of June: After 38 years, the last piece of coal was burned at the Oberkirch combined heat and power plant. The power plant is now stopped, and extensive overhauling and conversion work for switching over to biomass fuel has been going full speed ahead since June 10th.

Now that the gas supply system has been completed and the cold reserve has been successfully switched over to dual-fuel burning, the new emergency generator has been put into operation as well. This ensures that the Koehler plant in Oberkirch will continue to be powered until the conversion work at the combined heat and power plant is done.

The commissioning and testing phase will start in mid-August, and the power plant should run on environmentally friendly biomass starting in October. Koehler Group CEO Kai Furler explains: “For us, decarbonization of our coal-fired power plant in Oberkirch is another crucial step in our efforts to achieve our climate goals and produce more renewable energy than we need for our paper production operations starting in 2030.”