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Coal phase-out: How the weyer gruppe can support you in the switch to natural gas

1024 576 Maresa Matejit-Papka

At the beginning of 2018, the German Federal Government decided to phase out coal in Germany by 2038 at the latest on the advice of the Commission for Growth, Structural Change and Employment. Building on this, the Federal Council and the Bundestag passed the “Structural Strengthening Act for Coal Regions” a few days ago in order to drive forward structural change in the relevant regions. The energy and industry sectors are also to receive support from the emergency programme.

Coal phase-out already calls for short-term conversion of the electricity supply

Although there are still 18 years to go until 2038, many industrial companies are already affected. The Hambach open-cast mine in the Rhineland, for example, is reducing its lignite production, which means that the Frechen-Wachtberg briquette factory is running out of raw material. The closure of the factory is thus within reach, as it is scheduled to close at the end of 2022. Many industrial companies in the region are affected by this premature closure, as their switch to renewable energies has not yet been completed.

Rhineland industrial companies in a tight spot

The closure of the briquette factory puts the sugar manufacturer Pfeifer und Langen from Jülich under considerable pressure: since the conversion to sustainable alternatives such as biomass, biogas or hydrogen is not yet fully developed, the sugar manufacturer is left with only the “superfluous intermediate step” via natural gas, says Managing Director Michael Schaupp to thetrade journal. This requires an investment of millions, which Schaupp would have preferred to put into the long-term conversion to renewable energies. However, the sugar manufacturer is in a good position compared to the Metsä Tissue paper mill in Kreuzau. For the paper mill, natural gas is out of the question as a coal alternative: “The capacity of the gas pipeline is not sufficient,” complains Gero Kronen, production manager at Metsä Tissue.

At the end of June 2020, the Aachen Chamber of Industry and Commerce proposed to the federal government the introduction of a “heat replacement bonus” for the plant operators affected by the closure of the briquette company. The “completely surprising” briquette phase-out confronts local companies in the paper and sugar industry with the challenge of having to switch to natural gas in the short term and having additional natural gas pipelines laid for this purpose. The IHK expects additional investments in the millions.

Competent support in the planning of natural gas pipelines and pressure control lines

We are your partner for the conversion to natural gas! Due to our many years of experience when it comes to pipeline planning andpressure control lines and our local presence in Düren-Gürzenich, the weyer gruppe is exactly the right partner for planning natural gas pipelines for companies in the Rhenish lignite mining area. Our experienced engineers support you with the simulation of piping networks, stress calculations of pipelines, static system analyses, planning of pressure control stations as well as with overall pipe planning. In addition, the weyer group prepares the order specifications and documents for you and supports you in the area of tender management with the technical-commercial evaluation of supplier offers. The weyer group is currently supporting a waste disposal company with the connection to an existing natural gas pipeline.

Within the first planning phase, the concept planning, our experts examine, among other things, the supply of the gas, the determination of the procedural requirements for the gas pressure regulation and measurement system (GDRM system) and work out the safety requirements with regard to explosionand fire protection in the area of the gas supply line.

We would also be happy to support you with your projects!

Contact our expert at:

Ulrich Pynappel
weyer group | horst weyer and partner
Head of Engineering
Tel.: +49 (0) 24 21 – 69 09 11 73
E-Mail: u.pynappel@weyer-gruppe.com