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  1. Project
3 September 2009

Nuon Magnum IGCC Power Plant Project

The new integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant, Nuon Magnum, is being built by the Netherlands-based
Groningen Province, the Netherlands
The control room at Buggenham
The Nuon flag

The new integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant, Nuon Magnum, is being built by the Netherlands-based energy company, Nuon. The plant is located at Eemshaven in the Groningen province in the Netherlands. The company is investing approximately €1.5bn on the plant.

The production capacity of Nuon Magnum is about 1,200MW, which is a sufficient quantity to meet the rising electricity demand in the area. Once fully operational, the plant can supply power to two million households.

The power plant employs gasification technology. Nuon launched the construction of the plant in 2007. Delays in obtaining environmental related permits caused it to stop construction in May 2008. Nuon resumed construction in September 2009. The project is being developed in two phases. Phase I involves construction of a natural gas combined cycle power plant, which will be converted into an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant during Phase II.

In April 2011, Nuon decided to postpone phase II of the project due to a rise in raw material prices and pending negotiations with the environmentalists.

The plant is expected to be commissioned in 2012.

Plant details

The power plant is located at the Energy Park Eemshaven, an industrial area dedicated to energy related businesses.

Eemshaven was chosen as the site for the power plant in July 2006, since it provides cooling water which is essential for the gasification process. Another reason for the location choice is that the Eemshaven port infrastructure facilities support the importing of fuels for the power plant.

The plant can generate power using wide range of organic materials including coal, petroleum and biomass.

Designed based on the multi-fuel concept, the plant can generate power using a wide range of organic materials including coal, petroleum and biomass. By utilising a wide range of fuels the plant can achieve large-scale production capacity. Moreover, by using biomass the electricity can be generated in a clean way.

Honeywell will automate the plant by installing an umbrella system to connect the coal gasification, power plant and auxiliary systems in the plant. Nuon is also planning to install a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture plant at the Nuon Magnum power plant. It has already commenced the pilot programme for CO2 capture at its gasification power plant in Buggenum located in Limburg Province.

The plant will be equipped with three single shaft combined cycle units of 438MW each. A MHI 701F4 gas turbine in each unit will convert the natural gas into mechanical power and hot flue gasses.

Grid network

The grid network for the IGCC power plant is provided by TenneT, the national grid operator in the Netherlands. TenneT has sanctioned the required connection for the Nuon Magnum plant to the 380kV high-voltage grid in 2007.

Nuon entered into a contract in this regard with TenneT in January 2007. The grid manager of TenneT completed the 380kV station in 2009.

The Nuon Magnum plant will produce power on the Dutch electricity grid. Since the Dutch grid could not support the new electricity production of 1,200MW at the Nuon’s plant, TenneT provided the required transmission facility.

Groningen Seaports and TenneT helped Nuon in finalising a 4km route for the high-voltage connection overground, comprising two circuits. The route will connect the respective 380kV stations of TenneT and Nuon Magnum plant.


In 2007, Nuon started the construction of the Nuon Magnum power plant. However, the construction was phased out due to the high construction costs. For the construction of the power plant, various licences were required under Environmental Management Act (WM), Water Management Act (WVO/WWH) and Pollution of Surface Waters Act. In May 2008, Nuon decided to stop the plant construction for one year as delays occurred in the permit procedures. The company subsequently obtained the necessary permits from the authorities and restarted construction of the plant in September 2009.


Nuon has awarded a €1bn contract to the Mitsubishi Group for constructing the gas-fired part of the power plant. As the main contractor, Mitsubishi will manage the entire project and has engaged sub-contractors to execute the project. The sub-contractors include Ballast Nedam, NEM, FIP (Fabricom, Irem, Pontecelli) and ABB.

Ballast Nedam is responsible for civil works and NEM is engaged in the boilers construction. FIP is involved in the mechanical construction and ABB performs high voltage installations.


Coal gasification technology is used for electricity generation in the Nuon Magnum plant. The gasification process begins with the mixing and grinding of coal to form pulverised coal. The pulverised coal is mixed with the milled biomass, stored under nitrogen and pressurised.

The coal gasification technology reduces CO2 emissions and is environmentally sound compared to conventional power plants.

Later, oxygen is added to the coal and converted into combustible gas (syngas). The gas is then cleaned and cooled. After washing with water, it is de-sulphurised to get purified syngas. Nitrogen is used to thin the syngas and low nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are achieved after it gets saturated with water vapour.

The saturated syngas is combusted to drive the gas turbine. The heat released in combustion is used to create steam, which drives steam. The gas and steam turbines drives the generator in tandem and the electricity is produced in the generator. The entire process is known as Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC). The coal gasification technology reduces CO2 emissions and is environmentally sound compared to conventional power plants.

The CO2 capture plant significantly absorbs the CO2 emissions released from the power plant. The knowledge gained in the pilot programme will be used in the Nuon Magnum power plant.

Local environmental impact

The power plant construction is believed to damage the Grey Dunes on the Ameland and Schiermonnikoog islands so the Nature Conservation Act requested that Nuon endorse measures to protect them. Nuon has arranged a breeding and resting place for birds in the zone.

Sulphur dioxide emissions and fluoride concentration from the plant had to be remedied by Nuon before it obtained permit under the WM act. Further, Protected plant and animal species are expected to face damage during to the plant construction. However, Nuon obtained dispensation from the issue, under the Flora and Fauna Act.

The company has chosen to apply damped pile-driving to minimise noise pollution to the neighbours, during the construction.

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