Dutch energy company Nuon and the Japanese Mitsubishi group have formally signed a contract worth over one billion euros covering the construction of the gas fired section of the Nuon Magnum power plant in Eemshaven. The Nuon has thereby taken a definitive decision to go ahead with the first phase of construction of the multi-fuel gasification power plant, which will start supplying electricity in 2011.

The choice of Mitsubishi follows a European tender procedure from Nuon, which says that ultimately, the combination of commercial and technical aspects and the associated guarantees led to the selection. Because of the nature of Mitsubishi’s steam and gas turbine, the production capacity has increased to around 1300 MW. This capacity will be provided by three turbines.

The power plant is to be built in the Eemshaven, a location in the province of Groningen that offers excellent potential for importing fuels by sea, has a good connection to the electricity and gas network and has a plentiful availability of cooling water. Nuon signed the agreement to purchase the site from Groningen Seaports on 14 January this year. Construction will start in the first half of 2008.

The shareholders of Nuon formally approved the investment in this gas-fired unit in November 2007. It will include all the preparatory facilities for the construction of the gasification plant, which will enable the gasification not only of coal but also of biomass on a large scale and will also include provisions for efficient CO2 capture. Nuon expects to take a decision on the construction of the gasification plant within two years.