Three heating plants with combined gas and steam cycle.

Already in 1989, Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel invested in its initial gas and steam turbine power plant based on the patented Hutter process of double-cogeneration.

The power plant park provides an independent supply of electricity and contributes to nationwide CO² reduction in addition to the low emissions.

The expansion of the power plant in 2007 resulted in the natural gas as a primary energy source and biogas generated from our process water treatment system to yield a utilisation rate of 92%. This makes the power plant one of the most modern of its kind.


Turbine hall of the Hutter power plant
Turbine hall of the Hutter power plant

The paper and board mill produces significantly more power than is needed and feeds 5-15 MW into the public grid. Enough to power a medium-sized town like Varel.

  • Power-to-Heat
    Clean wind power is an important building block on the road to CO2 neutrality for our society - but what if there is too much electricity in the grid? Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel (PKV) is testing a power-to-heat module that can use wind power peaks to generate steam for paper production.

    If the climate protection module provides steam for the paper machines, this in turn saves natural gas in the PKV's own power plant and avoids CO2 emissions. In addition, the electricity only has to be transported over short distances because our region often generates wind power in abundance. The background to the initiative is the endeavour of PKV to produce completely CO2-neutral in the long term.

  • Combined heat and power generation plant
    The patented method of double cogeneration enables the most efficient utilisation of the primary fuel source natural gas.

    The cogeneration plants Varel 1 (1989) and Varel 2 (2002) were complemented by another powerful thermal power station in 2007. Cogeneration plant Varel 3 features a 90 t Baumgarte high pressure radiant boiler with two upstream Taurus 65 gas turbines of the 6.3 megawatt class.

    The plant can handle uninterrupted operation of 8,600 hours per year with a fuel efficiency of 92%.
    Cross-section of energy production from natural gas in the Hutter process
    Cross-section of energy production from natural gas in the Hutter process

  • Biogas
    The biogas mass that accumulates during anaerobic water treatment is used to generate power in our biogas plant. About 9.0 million m³ of biogas are produced annually. This corresponds to approximately 58,000 MWh.
    Biogas plant
    Biogas plant

  • Solar energy
    On part of our warehouse we have been operating a photovoltaic system since 2010. The plant has an installed capacity of about 1 MWp and uses up about 18,000 m² of surface area. The electricity produced through solar energy is enough to power the more than 30 electric forklifts, which are operated 24/7, seven days a week.

    In comparison to the average CO² emissions of conventional electricity generation in Germany, about 750,000 kg CO² is saved annually. This corresponds to approximately 6,250,000 kilometres of motorway travelled by a car with CO² emissions of 120 g/km.
    Solar panels on the roof of  depot 5
    Solar panels on the roof of depot 5

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