Koehler converts to biomass

15 June 2023

German paper company Koehler Group is converting its Oberkirch CHP plant, built in 1986, from coal to biomass, with completion of the project expected in autumn 2024.

Over 70 million euro has been invested in the site, which produces special papers, and the switch to biomass is seen as a vital step towards securing its future.

The CHP plant will use locally sourced wood chips, green waste, and mill residue as fuel.

Alongside the conversion of the power plant, the “cold reserve” generating capacity, which can brought into operation in the event of a shutdown, is also being expanded. Burning biomass requires significantly more maintenance work than previously, which causes stoppages, says Koehler. The switch to biomass also entails a drop in efficiency relative to black coal.

The expanded cold reserve will be fuelled with natural gas instead of oil.

There are plans for mains parallel operation, where surplus green energy is fed into the public grid.

Koehler has recently completed conversion of the power plant at its Greiz site from lignite to fine wood fraction.

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