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The worlds most efcient coal-red CHP plant


Welcome to Nordjylland Power Station the worlds most efcient coal-red CHP plant.
Nordjylland Power Station is owned by Vattenfall, today Europes fourth-largest generator
of electricity. However, the story of Nordjylland Power Station begins not in the far reaches
of todays Europe, but in the humble, old city of Aalborg in northern Jutland.
The year is 1895. Christian IX is King of Denmark dubbed Europes father-in-law because his two daughters and four sons all
married into the principal royal families of Europe. But that is
another story. Our story begins in Doktorens Gyde (Doctors Alley)
in central Aalborg, where some enterprising businesspeople
establish a private power station. The light station, as the station
is popularly called, chiey supplies electricity to local tradespeople.

facilities are extended several times over the next decades. In

its heyday the power station also enlarges its supply area to
include much of the Himmerland and Vendsyssel regions. The
Thy region is added in the early 1960s when the municipal
utility is also converted into a partnership with the name of
Nordkraft. But the inhabitants of Vendsyssel naturally want
their own power company north of the Liim Fiord. This desire
fosters the establishment of the Northern Jutland Electricity
Supply (NEFO), which commissions its rst plant in 1967. Both
With a 20 to 25% increase in customers a year, the power
NEFO and Nordkraft enjoy strong growth and build new
station is a success. However, the inux makes the downtown facilities over the following years, but the demand for energy
location impractical. So, the local authority considers building and the urban community grow even faster. The power station
a power station outside the city, choosing a site close to the
built outside the city in 1909 is now situated in central Aalborg.
Liim Fiord between Aalborg and Vejgrd. The new municipal
power station, called Aalborg Kommunale Elvrk, is ready for Mergers and internationalisation
commissioning in 1909. It supplies electricity not only to
As the European electricity markets are liberalised in the
Aalborg, but also to large parts of the surrounding region.
1990s, mergers become a common tool for Danish power
Growth and vigorous development
As demand for electricity steadily rises, the generating

1995. In connection with the merger, the parties also agree to

give up the downtown Aalborg location and instead turn their
eyes to Vendsysselvrket at Vester Hassing, which offers far
better development opportunities.
The wave of mergers continues, nationally and internationally. On 1 January 2000, the power stations in Jutland and
on Funen merge into Elsam, which performs so favourably
that other energy companies are attracted to the shares
allocated to the Jutland-Funen distribution companies at the
time of the merger. Thus, on 1 July 2006 Vattenfall acquires
almost all of Elsams wind turbines in Jutland and on Funen as
well as two small-scale CHP plants in Hillerd and Elsinore
and three big power stations, Amager Power Station, Fyn
Power Station and Nordjylland Power Station.

suppliers. Against this background, and to accomplish the

task of building a new power station in northern Jutland,
NEFO and Nordkraft merge into Nordjylland Power Station in


With its 171-metre stack and a building topping 90 metres, Unit 3 is a striking feature in the
landscape. As a matter of fact, the vastness of the structure and its high efciency are salient
features of this, the most environment-friendly coal-red power station in the world.
Nordjylland Power Station generates electricity and district
heat in two separate plants, Unit 2 and Unit 3. Known as the
worlds most efcient and environment-friendly coal-red
power station, Unit 3 is the primary unit. The original Unit 1
has been scrapped. In addition, Nordjylland Power Station has
a diesel-red gas turbine plant at its disposal, which can be
used to restart coal-red generating facilities in the event of
nationwide power outages.
Environmental and economic benets
Compared with older generating facilities, Unit 3 produces
much more electricity and district heat on the same amount
of fuel. And the more efciently every kilo of coal is utilised,
the less CO2 is emitted, and the lower the production costs
are. In that fashion, Nordjylland Power Station duly considers
both the environment and our heating and electricity bills.

Efciency improvements
Much has happened during the 22 years between the commissioning of Units 2 and 3. Using roughly the same quantity
of coal, electricity production and, in particular, district
heating capacity have improved radically.

171-metre stack
Take two Statues of Liberty and put them on top of each
other. That gives you approximately the same height as the
Unit 3 stack. Cast day and night, the stack took 831 hours to
complete, with a truck arriving every hour with concrete.

Technical specications

Unit 2

Unit 3

Gas turbine





Electricity capacity (gross)

305 MW

411 MW

25 MW

Max. district heat capacity

42 MJ/s

420 MJ/s

Coal consumption at full load

105 t/h

118 t/h

Steam pressure

198 bars

289 bars

Steam temperature

535 C

582 C


The duty of a power station like Nordjylland Power Station is to convert the energy of the
fuel into electricity and district heat for consumers. Nordjylland Power Station is red by
coal, and up to as much as 91% of the energy content of the coal is utilised. That is a world
record that remains unbeaten.
Conveyors transport coal from the coal site into the big silos
(1). From here it is fed to four pulverisers or mills that crush
the coal to ne dust. A mixture of air and coal dust is blown
up to the 16 burners in Unit 3. Combustion takes place in the
boiler furnace (2) at a temperature of 1600-1800 C.
The walls of the 70-metre-high boiler consist of endless
tubing, through which demineralised water ows and is
heated to create overheated steam, which makes the big
turbine blades rotate vigorously. Hence, the actual generating facility is an about 50-metre-long turbine group (3),
where the energy in the coal in the form of steam is
converted into electricity and district heat.
Cogeneration of electricity and district heat
From the high-pressure turbine, the steam is passed back to
the boiler for reheating before it continues through the
medium and low-pressure parts of the turbine. The electricity-

producing generator (3A) is tted to the turbine axle.

Cogeneration of electricity and district heat ensures optimum
fuel utilisation. After the medium pressure part of the
turbine, steam is tapped and led through two district heat
exchangers (4), where the water from the city grid is heated
to 80-90 C. Most of the district heat passes through big
pipes under the Liim Fiord to Aalborg. This dispels the
commonly held belief that district heat is a waste product.
Steam for heating the district heat water is tapped from the
medium pressure part of the turbine at a time when the
steam would still be able to generate electricity. To optimise
operations, an additional 25,000 m3 district heat accumulation tank (8) is connected to the system. This enables the
power station to stop district heat production temporarily
and use all the steam for electricity generation instead.
End of cycle
Finally, the steam not used for district heat production is
pumped through a condenser (7), where it is condensed back

into liquid form and returned to the boiler for another heating
process. This is a closed cycle. The steam is cooled with water
from the Liim Fiord.
Once cleaned (see next page), the ue gas is emitted through
the 171-metre-tall stack (6).





Coal is a fossil fuel formed as plant bres decompose, a process lasting 80-100 million years.
What is more, coal is the most plentiful fuel around the globe, with reserves sufciently large
to cover the worlds consumption for the next 200 to 300 years. But coal requires signicant
environmental awareness at all stages from unloading via stockpiling to combustion in the boilers.
Nordjylland Power Station burns about 800,000 tonnes of
coal annually, primarily brought to the power station on coal
barges. Before stockpiling, the coal is cleaned of foreign
matter, and big pieces of coal are crushed. Conveyor belts
carry the coal from the coal site to the silos at Units 2 and 3.
Oil is basically used only for starting up the plants, so annual
oil consumption hovers at a mere 9,000 tonnes.
When commissioned in 1998, Unit 3 could call itself the
worlds most efcient coal-red power station and the title
still holds. This unchallenged position is rooted in the strong
cooperation that suppliers enjoy with the power station
engineers who designed the plant. Cogeneration of electricity

and district heat also offers total fuel utilisation of as much as Suspended limestone supplied by the Aalborg Portland
91% of the energy burnt in the boiler. The high fuel utilisation cement factory is used for desulphurisation. The gypsum
efciency means less waste and, therefore, less pollution.
derived from this process is then returned to Portland for use
in the factorys cement production. The yash is also used in
Creative reuse
the cement and concrete industry.
In 1992 Nordjylland Power Station was awarded the international McGraw-Hills Prize in recognition of the worlds rst
Hence, Nordjylland Power Station manifests its consistent
SNOX plant. It cleans the ue gas of sulphur dioxide and
focus on the environment in its creative reuse policy of
nitrogen oxides and was built for Unit 2. A residual product
utilising residual products from operations as raw materials
from this cleaning process, almost pure sulphuric acid, is sold in other industrial contexts. In brief: An industrial symbiosis
to the fertiliser industry, among others.
with environmental and economic benets.
Unit 3 is equipped not only with an electro lter for collecting
yash, but also with an efcient desulphurisation plant.

Read more about Vattenfalls environmental initiatives at


Seen against the immense dimensions and production volumes of Nordjylland Power
Station, the number of employees is relatively small. On the other hand, each employee
has a varied and challenging working day. Nordjylland Power Station is therefore a
workplace committed to responsible and enterprising employees.
Nordjylland Power Stations core business, i.e. generation of
electricity and district heat, is handled by a permanent staff
of talented marine engineers, masters and bachelors in
engineering, semi-skilled workers, laboratory technicians,
craftsmen and administrative personnel. Great emphasis is
attached to hiring the right employees for the various
responsibilities and offering ongoing training and development. Competent and ambitious employees are an absolute
must in securing Nordjylland Power Station a strong position
in the increasingly competitive energy market.
Ever-changing production conditions, on the other hand, have
necessitated greater exibility in secondary elds of work.
Nordjylland Power Station has achieved this exibility by
outsourcing and contracting out a range of services.

Working groups with co-determination

Nordjylland Power Station is organised around working
groups that involve each employee in several tasks and
projects at the same time. This organisation, coupled with
shorter communication routes between management and
employees, has streamlined the individual procedures and
The working groups typically comprise between 9 and 14
employees. Today these groups function as close-knit units
that quickly and independently deal with day-to-day operation, repair and maintenance tasks.

but also offers more contacts and better knowledge of other

specialist areas. Some of the results are a more varied
working day and greater nancial awareness.
Environment includes health and safety
Nordjylland Power Station has achieved OHSAS 18001
occupational health and safety certication and ISO 14001
environmental certication, proving that its management
systems meet the requirements of these international
standards. The certications have increased our awareness
of the local community, and we have set objectives for
continuing to improve environment, health and safety

Organising the work this way moves responsibility and

management closer to the individual employee. It gives the
individual employee a wider range of administrative duties,

Vattenfall is a relatively new player in the Danish market for heat and electricity generation. In addition
to Nordjylland Power Station, we own and operate Amager Power Station, Fyn Power Station as well as
small-scale CHP plants in Hillerd and Elsinore and a host of wind turbines in Jutland and on Funen. In
spite of our short period of operation in Denmark, we have already invested DKK 2.6 billion in a broad
spectrum of innovative projects, including multifuel plants at Amager Power Station and deNOX plants
and a straw-red plant at Fyn Power Station. In all their diversity, these projects also share a common
feature: The improved environmental impact on Danish heat and electricity generation.
Vattenfall is Europes fourth-largest generator of electricity,
operating in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Poland and now also
Denmark. We are active at all stages of the electricity value
chain. That means generation, transmission, distribution and
sale. Vattenfall also generates, distributes and sells heat and
energy-related services. The Vattenfall group employs more
than 35,000 people, and the parent company, Vattenfall AB,
is wholly owned by the Swedish state.
Vattenfall in Denmark is part of Business Group Vattenfall
Nordic, which counts about 9,000 employees in Sweden,

Finland and Denmark. The number of employees working in

Denmark is about 650. The Danish organisation was established in mid-2006 when Vattenfall acquired both employees
and generating facilities from DONG. Two regional ofces
have been set up in Denmark, one in Copenhagen and one in

ensure continued protable growth

be the benchmark of the industry
be Number One for the customer
be Number One for the environment
be the employer of choice

To realise our ambitions and vision, Vattenfall invests in new

A visionary company
generating facilities, modernisations and efciency improveVattenfalls vision is to enhance our customers competitive- ments at existing plants, improved environmental performanness, environment and quality of life through efcient energy ce, effective maintenance and enhanced safety. Vattenfall
solutions and world-class service. This vision is met through additionally invests in competencies and new knowledge.
ve strategic ambitions for our initiatives: Vattenfall wants to: Everything for the benet of our common future.


Nordjylland Power Station the worlds most efcient coal-red CHP plant
I fully agree!
From the outset, Vattenfalls decision to acquire Nordjylland
Power Station has been both exciting and right for us. Not
only did we succeed in ensuring a stable and solid supply of
heat and electricity to northern Jutland households the
acquisition also enabled us to maintain a good and exciting
workplace. And thats essential when you choose to sell one
of your assets to a relatively unknown undertaking.
Today Vattenfall is no longer unknown to us, however, and we
keenly look forward to seeing how the groups planned massive
investments in Denmark are going to affect northern Jutland.
The outlook for the energy sector is currently the subject of

much speculation, and I guess no one fully knows how the

sector will look in a few years time.
One thing is certain, though: In Aalborg we are extremely satised
that Vattenfall became responsible for forging the path to a safe
future for Nordjylland Power Station and Im condent that the
employees at the power station share my thoughts.

Henning G. Jensen
City of Aalborg


Vattenfall A/S
Generation Nordic, Thermal Power
Nordjylland Power Station
Nefovej 50
9310 Vodskov
Tel. +45 88 27 50 00