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District energy

District heating

Bernburg RDF Heat and Power Plant in Germany

18. January 2017

Solution provider

Sweco Danmark
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Solvay Germany operates a plant in Bernburg for the production of sodium bicarbonate, soda and hydrogen peroxide. This production requires a vast amount of steam and electricity. To ensure a secure and economic energy supply, the company decided to build an RDF heat and power plant in 2006.

Solvay appointed Tönsmeier GmbH to be responsible for the construction, financing and operation of the plant with Sweco as the owner’s engineer for the provision of engineering, permitting, tendering and commissioning services.

The plant has the capacity to process 550,000 tons of RDF annually. Together, the three lines of the plant produce 240 tons of steam per year. Electricity is produced in an extraction / condensing turbine.

The furnace consists of a conventional grate firing unit and boiler. NOx is removed by injection of urea in the optimal temperature window.

Acid components are removed from the flue gas emissions using sodium bicarbonate – a Solvay product – and lignite coke is used to remove heavy metals, dioxin and furan. As an additional benefit, bicarbonate and lignite coke build up a coating on the surface of the fabric filters, which enhances the flue gas cleaning performance. The plant complies with the limits set by German law (17. BImSchV).


The RDF plant contributes to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and produces renewable energy.

Sweco’s Services:

Basic and detailed engineering, permitting, tendering and evaluation of tenders, and construction supervision.

Technical Data:

  • Waste capacity 552,000 t/year
  • Steam production 240 t/h
  • Steam parameter 40 bar/410 °C
  • Electric power 38 MW


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