E.ON Starts 417-MW Cogeneration Plant in Slovakia

At the beginning of 2011, German firm E.ON began operation of its new 417-MW Malzenice gas and steam turbine power station in Slovakia’s Trnava region, near the country’s capital, Bratislava (Figure 5). The facility, which is expected to generate more than 300 billion kWh annually, boasts an efficiency of 58%—which E.ON claims is among the “highest in Europe.”

5. Stepping on the gas. E.ON in January opened its 417-MW Malzenice gas and steam turbine power station in Slovakia’s Trnava region, near the nation’s capital, Bratislava. The facility uses a Siemens Energy F-class gas turbine in a single-shaft design. Courtesy: Siemens Energy

Siemens Energy reportedly completed the project last December on schedule in just 26 months. The plant uses a Siemens F-class gas turbine in a single-shaft design (SGT5-4000F) and a SST5-5000 steam turbine. It also uses a hydrogen-cooled generator. Owner E.ON said that the plant’s online versatility, short start-up time, and fast load cycling would be important to the region, whose economy is rapidly developing.

Gas is the dominant fuel in Slovakia, accounting for about 30% of primary energy demand. Gas is followed by oil at 23%, coal at 22%, nuclear at 19%, and hydro at 6%.

The cogeneration market was hard hit in 2009 because of constrained financing conditions, claims research company Global Data in a recent report, which warns that “there remains a significant concern that recovery could stall, inhibiting investments in this sector.” However, it says the sector will be buoyed by government mandates to curb greenhouse gases from coal-fired power plants and the demand for higher efficiencies in the long term. The European cogeneration equipment market in particular is expected to see a surge from 2011 through 2020, when it is expected to grow 7% and earn about US$5.7 billion.

–Sonal Patel is POWER’s senior writer.