Around thirteen milliard tons of brown coal are deposited between the Elbe and the Neiße. Out of those two milliard tons are situated in Lausitz working area of Vattenfall, the third biggest power producer in Germany. Yearly Vattenfall extracts around 60 million tons of brown coal at its mining areas in J änschwalde, Cottbus-Nord, Welzow-Süd and Nochten. The mining area Reichwalde is currently deferred and will be again set into operation in 2010.
In Lausitz one of the most effective mining technologies has been applied for the extraction of coal – direct turn-over via conveyor bridge. Thanks to this technology extraction, conveying and tilting operations are concentrated in one system. That minimizes the transportation routes and in so far production costs.
Large Scale Power Plants
Vattenfall Europe, as a third biggest power producer in Germany, has a power plant capacitance of more than 13.300 Megawatt (MW). Various processes and energy sources are used for the production of power. On a smaller scale power is produced at nuclear power plants around Hamburg, at black coal power plant in Rostock and at gas turbine power stations. Approximately 80 percent of electricity produces Vattenvall from brown coal. The by-products, such as ashes and gypsum, can be environmentally friendly and cost-effective recycled. Both abovementioned materials are processed and sold in situ by partner enterprises.
The three brown coal power plants in Lausitz - Schwarze Pumpe, Boxberg und Jänschwalde – together have a capacitance of 6.500 Megawatt (MW)
Power Plant Scwarze Pumpe consists of two generating units with the capacity of 800 MW each. It is situated on the premises of industrial park Scwarze Pumpe. Apart from producing electricity, the power plant provides cities Spremberg, Hoyerswerda and the district Scwarze Pumpe with heating. Another important task is the production of process steam for enterprises in the industrial park. Power plant Schwarze Pumpe belongs to the biggest employer in the region, providing 360 working places.
Power Plant Boxberg is located about 15 kilometres south of city Weßwasser. It is a base load power station with the total capacitance of 1.900 Megawatt. It produces around 15,6 milliards kWh of electricity annually. At the moments Vattenvall builds additional generating unit on a brown coal basis at Boxberg. This unit with the capacitance of around 675 megawatt and effectiveness of more than 43 percent should be integrated into the network in 2010.
Power Plant Jänschwalde is situated in Spree-Neiße district, about 16 kilometres north of the city Cottbus. From 1991 till 1996 all the generating units were exchanged for the modern environmentally friendly technology, and from 1994 till 2006 they were upgraded with the up-to-date turbine and control technology. That enabled further effective operation of the power plant. The brown coal from mining areas Jänschwalde, Cottbus Nord and Welzow-Süd is used in this power plant.