Customer also guaranteed long-term supply of heat
Eneco acquires heat and electricity generation in Utrecht from Nuon
Eneco significantly expands its heat production in Utrecht by taking over Nuon's heat supply network and a number of its power plants. This means that around 85 employees will be transferring from Nuon to Eneco. Both companies reached an agreement today and the takeover is planned for 1 January 2015
As part of this agreement, Eneco will take over two facilities used for producing electricity and district heating, five auxiliary heating plants, seven heat transfer stations and a 25 km-long network of pipelines. The production sites generate heat for 50,000 households and 1200 business customers in Utrecht and Nieuwegein. Financial details of the agreement will not be disclosed.
Plans to build a new biomass-fired plant are also included in the takeover but will be reviewed by Eneco. "The core objective is to keep making the heating grid in Utrecht more and more sustainable. A new biomass-fired plant is a serious possibility, but we will continue to weigh up all the alternative ways to ensure a sustainable future for Utrecht," said Herman Exalto, Director of Eneco Warmte & Koude.
For Eneco, this agreement is an important step forwards. Nuon and its predecessors have been generating heat in Utrecht since 1923, energy that Eneco subsequently supplies to its customers. With the current heat supply agreement set to expire at the end of this year, it was time for the two parties to consider how district heating can be supplied to customers in the Utrecht area in future. Of the two options – extending the agreement or transferring generation to Eneco – the latter proved to be the most realistic, in view of current market conditions. In the long term, improvements will need to be made in order to ensure and enhance a sustainable heat supply chain from the point of generation to the customer. Both companies agree that this can be best achieved by placing the entire supply chain in the hands of a single party.
Herman Exalto: “Having one party in charge of the heat supply chain will make operations more efficient. Eneco will also be able to do something innovative with the heating grid. Our policy will be to look into various options while also considering any initiatives put forward by customers and local authorities that might enable us to join forces in further improving the system."
Alexander van Ofwegen, Director of Nuon Production: "I would like to express my appreciation for the employees at the plants in Utrecht and thank them for their many years of service. This hard work and positive collaboration between the two parties will ensure a smooth and comprehensive transfer."
In the Netherlands Eneco supplies district heating to approx. 300,000 'household equivalents', made up of domestic and business customers in such cities as Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague. Heating grids reduce CO2 emissions by at least 50%.
Two power plants at a glance: Lage Weide and Merwedekanaal
Located in the Lage Weide business park and built in 1995, Lage Weide 6 is a thermal power plant. The plant has an electrical capacity of up to 248 MW and a thermal capacity of up to 180 MW. The site accommodates an auxiliary heating plant, built in 2009, as well as a black-start installation with a capacity of 10 MW, commissioned in 2011. In the event of a total blackout this installation can provide the plant with the power it needs to start up again. Incidentally, Nuon's high chimney on this site is no longer in use. The chimney has been preserved as an industrial monument.
The Merwedekanaal site comprises two thermal power plants: Merwedekanaal 11 and 12. Merwedekanaal 11 has an electrical capacity of up to 103 MW and a thermal capacity of up to 110 MW. Merwedekanaal 12 has an electrical capacity of up to 225 MW and a thermal capacity of up to 180 MW.
The other auxiliary heating plants and heat transfer stations affected by the agreement are located in Leidsche Rijn, Overvecht, Kanaleneiland, Nieuwegein and other districts.