Eon to sell Belgian coal-fired power plant to German Pellets

By Katie Fletcher | October 20, 2015

The sale of German utility Eon’s Belgium 556-MW Langerlo coal-fired power plant to wood pellet producer German Pellets is expected to close this year.

Eon has signed a share sale and purchase agreement with German Pellets, according to the company. Eon expects to close the deal in the coming months, but is unable to comment on the financial terms. Eon had originally planned to convert the coal-fired plant into a 400-MW wood pellet-fueled biomass plant, but then decided to look for an investor.

"The biomass project in Langerlo no longer fits into the core strategy of the Eon group,” said Tom De Bruyckere, the Belgium spokesperson for Eon. “With an environmental permit, a building permit and a principled commitment to financial support by the Flemish energy regulator, the project had every chance to succeed. Eon therefore decided to look for a buyer for the project.”

German Pellets became the investor in the plant and plans to convert the power plant to burn biomass, according to Claudia Röhr, communication and marketing representative with German Pellets GmbH.

German Pellets is one of the biggest producers and providers of wood pellets in the world. Earlier this year, the company announced it completed the commissioning of the first construction phase of its plant in Urania, Louisiana. Work on the second construction phase is underway. The financing for the capacity increase of the plant from the current capacity of 578,000 to 1.16 million metric tons per year has been raised in full. “We are delighted at the fast realization of the expansion of our second plant in the U.S. and, hence, the increased production,” said Peter Leibold, managing partner at German Pellets GmbH.

Upon completion of the plant, German Pellets will have an annual production capacity of around 1.7 million metric tons of wood pellets in the U.S. alone. These volumes will be exported to Europe.