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  • MVV links Friesenheimer Insel to the district heating grid – industrial services provider Bilfinger sets up a district heat station at MVV’s co-generation plant in Mannheim.

Hooking up the waste-fired combined heat and power plant (CHP) on Friesenheimer Insel to the local district heating grid will allow the Mannheim based energy company MVV to make a major advance in its provision of district heat to the city and its environs. All told, the utility company will be investing around EUR 100 million to make the plant more sustainable in terms of its exploitation of resources. While the work to construct a new culvert underneath the arm of the Rhine River known as Altrhein and to lay the connection pipeline of three kilometers’ length is proceeding apace, the mega-project is already nearing the next milestone: The Mannheim-based industrial services provider Bilfinger has been contracted by MVV with building a new heat station on the site of the Friesenheim CHP.

This new heat station will become a key technical component for delivering district heat from the CHP plant. In it, the residual thermal energy contained in the boiler steam previously used to drive the power turbines will be drawn off and fed into the district heating grid. The heat station will have a thermal output of 95 megawatts. Once the connection pipeline is in service, the heating plant on Friesenheimer Insel will be able to cover one third of Mannheim’s heat demand, while the turbine housed in the heat station, with its electrical output of 5.4 megawatts, will deliver power to more than 12,000 households. This combined generation of heat and power will serve to make the MVV heating plant particularly energy-efficient.

Bilfinger’s Engineering & Technologies segment has been tasked with the turnkey construction of the heat station, a project entailing a contract value of roughly EUR 20 million. The overall scope of deliverables includes the engineering, construction, and commissioning of the mechanical systems and equipment well as of the electrical and control systems.

The Chairman of the MVV Board of Management, Dr. Georg Müller, commented as follows: “Successfully implementing the turnaround in energy policy will also depend on a consistent transformation of the heat supply. Connecting Friesenheimer Insel to the district-heating grid will allow us to make our environmentally friendly district-heating system more renewable and thus more viable for the future. This will not only help protect the climate but will also benefit our private, commercial, and industrial customers.” Dr. Müller went on to explain that the district heat supplied by the new heat station would allow homeowners to fulfill the legally mandated energy-efficiency requirements for their homes. Also, he added, the new feed-in link in the north of the city would provide additional heating coverage for the entire grid territory. 

The significance of the project and of the new heat station in terms of ensuring a sustainable and reliable supply of district heat was also underscored by Bilfinger CEO Tom Blades: “The district heat station is a key link in the supply chain and will help to ensure and maintain the supply of district heat for the entire city of Mannheim.” He noted that Bilfinger regards the buildout of district heating grids and the efficiency enhancement of existing, conventional plant facilities to be promising business lines on the German market.

The Mannheim district heating grid supplies its environmentally friendly heat not just to the city, but also to the neighboring towns of Heidelberg, Schwetzingen, and Speyer. More than 60 percent of households in Mannheim are hooked up to the grid comprising 567 km of lines. The connection of Friesenheimer Insel to the grid is scheduled to be placed into service in late 2019.

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