Press Release

ABB to help decarbonize district heat supply near UNESCO World Heritage area in Denmark

  • ABB will supply integrated electrical infrastructure for seawater heat pump to deliver green heat to over 100,000 inhabitants of Danish port city of Esbjerg
  • ABB’s technology will secure reliable renewable power supply, heat production and distribution for the plant
  • Innovative 50MW heat pump system will use renewable energy from wind farms and extract the heat from sea water, replacing coal-powered solution as part of Denmark’s goal of cutting emissions by 70 percent by 2030

Urban areas account for over 70 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions [1], with heating and cooling representing the largest share of energy consumption, so delivering sustainable and affordable heating and cooling to cities is a priority in the fight against climate change

ABB will deploy its complete electrical, instrumentation and control (EIC) package, motors and variable speed drives for the powerhouse of the heat pump, which will be the world’s largest seawater heat pump based on CO2 as refrigerant. With Esbjerg facing the UNESCO world heritage area of the Wadden Sea, the careful selection of the right pump was essential. The 50 MW seawater heat pump system from MAN Energy Solutions, a long-standing customer of ABB, converts electrical energy into thermal energy and uses toxicologically safe CO2 as a refrigerant for the entire system cycle.

“With the cornerstone laid for a flexible and sustainable district heating, our vision is to continue to create quality green alternatives in renewable electricity production,” said Christian Udby Olsen, CEO at DIN Forsyning.

As part of their 2030 strategy to pursue a 100 percent fossil free heat production with zero loss of applied resources, DIN Forsyning is developing a new hybrid renewable district heat plant to replace heat currently supplied by Esbjerg coal-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant. For the CHP plant – which produces about half of all district heating for Esbjerg – to be decommissioned in April 2023, DIN Forsyning had to be ready with alternative heat sources for the district heating, which can reduce primary energy consumption by 50 percent and generate low-carbon energy from heat pumps.

ABB’s technology will contribute to the replacement of the coal-fired plant as the main source of heat for the city of Esbjerg and get closer to the goal of reducing carbon emissions in the city. It will also be deployed to ensure that the entire heating network can be powered from renewables, and distributed to the plant, through connections to the offshore wind turbines in the North Sea. In addition, ABB will supply a medium voltage variable speed drive, motors, as well as electrical and control solutions to support the high efficiency of the system and the accurate control of this massive heat pump.

Christian Udby Olesen added, “District heating is an important part of Esbjerg city’s ambition to become a CO2 neutral municipality by 2030. The technology of partners as ABB is instrumental in our ability to revolutionize the future of district heating, which will be based on new green solutions. We believe that this approach will resonate both in Denmark and the rest of the world.”

“At ABB, we embed sustainability in everything we do to enable energy efficient, low carbon operations and support the development of new and renewable energy models, so this project to transform the global district heating system and provide a greener solution for the residents of Esbjerg is a particularly exciting one for us,” adds Per Erik Holsten, Head of Energy Industries for Northern Europe at ABB.

ABB’s Process Automation business is a leader in automation, electrification and digitalization for the process and hybrid industries. We serve our customers with a broad portfolio of products, systems, and end-to-end solutions, including our #1 distributed control system, software, and lifecycle services, industry-specific products as well as measurement and analytics, marine and turbocharging offerings. As the global #2 in the market, we build on our deep domain expertise, diverse team, and global footprint, and are dedicated to helping our customers increase competitiveness, improve their return on investment and run safe, smart, and sustainable operations.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.