Vattenfall's CEO Magnus Hall inaugurated Moorburg together with, among others, Tuomo Hatakka, Head of BA Heat, and Hamburg's Mayor Olaf Scholz.
In his speech, Magnus Hall touched on the paradox that Vattenfall today in Germany officially opens a hard coal-fired power plant while the company, at the same time, is transitioning to a more sustainable energy portfolio as well as trying to sell its German lignite operations.
"The climate issue is crucial and we want to identify ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. We have a clear goal to convert operations to one that produces energy with low CO2 emissions. Our strategy has its basis in sustainability. For this reason, we will primarily invest in new wind power capacity in the coming years. Our aim is to become one of the largest producers of renewable energy inEurope.
At first glance, a coal-fired power plant does not fit into this plan. Everyone knows that energy systems cannot be changed overnight as this is a long-term process. Security of supply is our responsibility even on days when there is no wind or sunshine. This is why our fossil production will have to partner up with renewables in the next years," explained Magnus Hall.
Moorburg's two production units have a total installed capacity of 1,654MW, and can meet about 90 per cent of Hamburg's electricity requirements.
Basing calculations on Moorburg running for 7,500 hours a year, the power plant could emit about 8.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
The decision to invest in Moorburg was taken a decade ago when the energy market looked significantly different than what it is today.
"We have been asked at times if we would make the same decision today, and our answer is probably not. This doesn't mean that the coal-fired power plant is expendable. On the contrary. It is important for Hamburg and undoubtedly this capacity is necessary to ensure a stable grid with a secure supply of electricity. In a few years when the last nuclear power plant in northern Germany has been phased out, Moorburg will be the only power plant in the north of the country supplying electricity around the clock, regardless of wind and weather," says Magnus Hall.