Engineering Licence

Engineering Licence

Author: RWE & Linde

Framework Agreement

RWE Power and Linde-KCA-Dresden GmbH, a subsidiary of The Linde Group, have signed a framework agreement on the use of technology developed by RWE Power for drying lignite. This turns Linde-KCA-Dresden into a provider and supplier of WTA developed by RWE Power. WTA is the German abbreviation for fluidized-bed drying with internal waste-heat utilization.

“In Linde-KCA-Dresden, we have won a renowned partner with comprehensive experience and international know-how in building chemical plants. This is an important step in the worldwide dissemination of the WTA technology now being demonstrated at Niederaussem,” stresses Dr Johannes Heithoff, head of research and development at RWE Power, adding: “In the future it is to be deployed in lignite-based power plants and in coal-gasification and liquefaction projects to obtain more energy-efficient and lower-CO2 electricity and synthesis-gas production.”

“We look forward to the long-term partnership with RWE. Thanks to the bundling of the experience and expertise available in the two companies, we will be able to offer even better, tailored-to-suit, commercial-scale solutions for climate-sparing CO2 reduction in the future. At the same time, this cooperation with RWE enables us to tap new markets,” says Jörg Linsenmaier, managing director of Linde-KCA-Dresden GmbH.

Increased Efficiency

The technology, developed by RWE’s own engineers, is a registered trademark. Thanks to WTA, the efficiency of future lignite-fired power stations will be increased by ten per cent to over 47 %. In a 1,000-MW power plant, this will reduce CO2 by up to one million tons annually with the same amount of power being generated. Moreover, WTA drying is indispensable for the gasification of lignite to make fuels or for the products of the chemical industry. WTA technology lowers the moisture content of raw lignite from over 55 % to 12 %. The crucial advance: by contrast with the previous drying process with flue gas at 1,000°C, WTA drying at 110 °C is much more favourable in energetic terms.

Also, the heat expended on drying the coal is now largely recovered and re-used. By comparison: to achieve a similar effect for the climate, nearly 500,000 mid-size cars would have to stay in their garages forever.

At Niederaussem, RWE Power has been operating a demonstration prototype plant on a commercial scale since February 2009, generating 110 tons of dry lignite an hour. This is equivalent to up to 30 % of the entire coal requirements of the BoA unit in Niederaussem, currently the most efficient lignite-fired power station with optimized plant engineering (BoA) featuring an efficiency of over 43 %. Use of the demonstration plant reduces CO2 by 240,000 tons a year. RWE Power has invested € 50 million in the project.

About RWE Power

RWE Power is Germany’s biggest electricity producer. The opencast mines, power stations, upgrading facilities, research projects, training centres and administrative units have a headcount of more than 15,000. With power-plant capacity of a good 33,000 MW, the company makes a contribution to RWE’s wide energy mix consisting of lignite, hard coal, nuclear energy, gas and renewables. RWE Power is investing billions in the construction of new, climate-sparing power plants and in the development of even more efficient, environmentally-friendly technologies for the power generation of the future.

Please find further information about RWE Power online at

About LKCA

Linde-KCA-Dresden GmbH, a subsidiary of The Linde Group, is one of the leading companies worldwide in the design, delivery and turnkey construction of chemical, gas, biotechnological and pharmaceutical plants. It realises Linde processes as well as licensed and customer-owned processes. Chemical plants for recovery and processing of CO2 for the energy and petro-chemical sector play an increasing role in the portfolio of the company. In the future field of CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) LKCA is building pilot and demonstration plants for international energy companies.

For more information please refer to our website

About The Linde Group

The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with almost 48,000 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2009 financial year it achieved sales of EUR 11.2 bn. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.

For more information, see The Linde Group online at

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