The supervisory board of Stadtwerke Kiel AG decided at its meeting on 11 November to go ahead with the construction of the new K.I.E.L coastal power plant. The gas-fired thermal power plant on Kieler Förde with an overall investment cost of around EUR 290m is expected to come on stream in two years and, from autumn 2018, will generate heat and gas with 20 high-efficiency natural-gas engine generator sets. With EUR 105m, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is making the largest contribution to the project’s financing. The EU bank’s loan is backed by guarantees from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), in which the EIB is the European Commission’s strategic partner.

“K.I.E.L stands for Kiel’s Intelligent Energy Solution in German. The coastal power plant will secure the thermal energy supply in Kiel and make an important contribution to the energy transition and environmental protection. This project, which is unique in Europe, sets new standards in terms of flexibility, efficiency and environmental sustainability,” stated Stadtwerke Kiel’s CEO Frank Meier.

The EIB Vice-President responsible for operations in Germany and EFSI, Ambroise Fayolle, said, “A sustainable, competitive and secure energy supply in Europe is one of the European Union’s priority objectives. As part of the EU’s investment offensive, the EU bank is providing targeted support for energy solutions which use innovative technology to improve environmental protection. I therefore very much welcome this cooperation with Stadtwerke Kiel.”

Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union, added, “Public funds cannot and should not replace private investment, but they can cover part of the risk, especially in the energy sector, and thus create a more favourable investment climate. I therefore appreciate the European Investment Bank’s decision to support the K.I.E.L coastal power station, which will make a significant contribution to Germany’s energy transition and Europe’s shift to a low-carbon economy.”

The K.I.E.L. coastal power plant will replace the coal-fired power plant that has been operating on Kiel’s East Bank since 1970. Owing to its modular generating concept, the new coastal power plant can respond flexibly to energy market requirements. The 20 gas engines housed in four blocks can reach full capacity in less than five minutes, and each engine can be adjusted individually and is capable of several starts a day.

In addition, the coastal power station will produce power and heat simultaneously through its cogeneration system, resulting in a high generating efficiency (45% thermal and 45% electric) and a high overall primary energy conversion efficiency of over 90%. Owing to this high performance and the environmental advantages of the natural gas energy source, the coastal plant will emit 70% less CO2 than the power plant it is replacing.