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Copper producer Norddeutsche shelves plan to build power plant

Norddeutsche Affinerie has abandoned its plans to build a substitute fuel power plant and opted to participate in the bituminous coal-fired power plant, which Vattenfall Europe plans to build in Hamburg Moorburg, the German copper producer said Friday. Representatives of NA and Vattenfall signed an agreement May 4 under which as of January 1, 2010, the NA Group will procure 1 billion kWh/year of electricity from Vattenfall for a period of 30 years, the company said.

Our agreement secures the NA Group's entire electricity supply in Germany for decades. And that at a very fair price," said Werner Marnette, NA's CEO, in a statement. In a joint statement, NA and Vattenfall said that "with this decision we are jointly complying with the declared policy of the Hamburg Senate to keep emissions of carbon dioxide as well as other hazardous substances as low as possible in the Hamburg region and to approve only one power plant in Hamburg.

The companies said they now expect that the Senate will confirm the viability of the whole Moorburg project in the submitted form. The power plant fired with imported bituminous coal should replace outdated power plant capacities and is designed to have an output of about twice 800 MW. NA's so-called virtual power plant slice will amount to 115 MW, the statement said.

The new agreement will result in an electricity cost burden for NA similar to that of the previously planned substitute fuel power plant, the companies said, adding that Vattenfall Europe "will supply NA with electricity at completely transparent conditions and based on the power plant's cost structure.

As a result, NA is abandoning its plans to build the substitute fuel plant. "We informed the management of Stadtreinigung Hamburg (SRH) and Axel Gedaschko, the Minister of Urban Development and Environment in Hamburg, about our decision, said Marnette. The original plan was that the SF power plant (a 50:50 joint venture between NA and SRH) would be commissioned at the end of 2009. The Norddeutsche Affinerie group is the largest copper producer in Europe, as well the largest copper recycler worldwide, with output of about 800,000 mt/year of copper and copper products.

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