German electric utility company E.ON has unveiled plans to invest €110m ($121m) to build a biomass power plant at a paper mill site in Hürth, Germany.

The site for the construction of a new plant is provided by UPM, a Finnish paper mill company.

E.ON said that the new biomass power plant is designed to have an electrical output of 20MW and a thermal firing capacity of 87MW.

E.ON Board member Karsten Wildberger said: “Together with UPM, we will demonstrate that it’s possible to supply an energy-intensive industrial company with an economical and reliable CO2-neutral energy supply.

“We will be contributing our experience and mature technology to the partnership. UPM and E.ON will thus set an example of climate-friendly energy supply for industry that goes far beyond the paper industry.”

The new plant will deliver heat to the Hürth paper mill

Scheduled to begin operations in the first quarter of 2022, the project is expected to create over 30 new jobs.

The new plant will deliver heat to the Hürth paper mill and supply renewable energy into the grid that contributes to the energy transition, climate protection and the stability of the German power grid.

The electric utility company will obtain the fuel, residual wood, from the regional environment.

UPM Communication Papers executive vice president Winfried Schaur said: “The new supply would significantly reduce UPM Hürth’s CO2 footprint. The project supports the long-term phase-out of coal-fired power generation in Germany.

“The new plant ensures a stable and economically predictable supply of heat to the site and would make our production cycle in Hürth, which is already based on 100 percent recovered paper, even more sustainable.”

E.ON said that the two companies are already working together at UPM’s site in Plattling, Bavaria, where the company supplies the paper mill with a highly efficient gas and steam power plant.

Besides, E.ON operates industrial-scale biomass power plants in the UK and Sweden.

Recently, the company signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with RWE Renewables to buy the output from 20 British wind farms, totaling 3TWh annually for a period of 2.5 years.