Siemens Upgrading BASF Power Plant

Siemens will modernize the BASF’s industrial power plant in Schwarzheide, Germany with key components, including a new gas turbine.

The Brownfield Exchange project involves replacing a gas turbine from another original equipment manufacturer (OEM) with a new industrial gas turbine from Siemens as well as servicing this machine for a period of 15 years. In addition, Siemens will install a SIESTART battery storage solution that will enable the entire power plant to start up independently of an external power supply.

The BASF combined cycle power plant in Schwarzheide went into operation in 1994. At the heart of the plant are two industrial gas turbines from another OEM as well as two industrial steam turbines from Siemens. In addition to electricity, the plant provides process steam needed for the production plants at the site. As part of the power plant modernization, Siemens will replace one of the two existing industrial gas turbines by an SGT-800 gas turbine with a capacity of 57 MW. The significantly higher efficiency of the new gas turbine means that less natural gas needs to be burned for the same amount of electricity, thus lowering fuel costs and CO2 emissions, Siemens said.

“We are pleased that BASF has placed its trust in Siemens to carry out this Brownfield Exchange project,” said Thorbjörn Fors, CEO of the Service Distributed Generation and Oil & Gas within Siemens Gas and Power. “Adapting the new gas turbine to the existing plant and carrying out the other necessary renovations require complex individual planning and extensive engineering expertise. Siemens is one of the few suppliers on the market with all the manufacturing and engineering skills needed to reliably implement such a demanding project.”

For the SIESTART solution, Fluence Energy, a company of Siemens and AES, is providing a battery energy storage system. This is designed to ensure that the power plant can be started at any time independently of an external power supply, the company said. This blackstart capability will enable BASF to start up the plant at any time and produce necessary electricity and process steam.

Today’s power producers depend on maximum availability of their power plants. Beside the need for blackstart capability, they need to quickly respond to fluctuations in power demand. They also must be able to shift to island operation to ensure an independent power supply when needed. While modern combined cycle plants can already handle high load changes in just a few minutes, the fluctuating infeed of renewable energy and unforeseen incidents require even shorter response times. The challenge is to meet these standards and at the same time reduce emissions and costs. SIESTART hybrid solutions serve as back-up for instant power supply at the push of a button and help to significantly improve power supply reliability, the company said.

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