Mátra Power Plant and its subsidiaries were acquired by the MVM Group on 26 March 2020. The objective of the owner is to transform the now out-of-date and inefficiently operating power-generating facility into a modern, carbon-saving system, which has economical production. The coal-fired power plant is responsible for 14 % of the total domestic carbon-dioxide emission, so it is essential to develop its technology in order to support achieving Hungary’s carbon-neutral goals of 2050 in line with the National Energy and Climate Policy. The professional background of the parent company guarantees the smooth operation of the supply system during the transition process. Realising the green vision of the company, phasing-out coal technology is in line with the objectives of the EU Energy and Climate Policy as well, which provides opportunities for the company to apply for significant EU funding for the transition. The lignite-fired units are planned to be phased-out by the end of 2025, and new production units will have been involved in power generation by that time.
Modernization of Mátra Power Plant will be one of the most significant energy projects of the next decade in Hungary.
5 pillars of the modernization programme:
1. Combined Cycle Gas Turbine unit of ~500 MWe capacity (CCGT)
Installation of a natural gas-fired power generating gas turbine unit, which has high efficiency, low CO2 intensity and can be regulated flexibly. Its annual electricity generation will be nearly 4 TWh. By replacing lignite-firing capacity with natural gas, we can save 6 % of the total CO2 emission of Hungary yearly. In the future the gas turbine will be also suitable to use hydrogen produced on site as a fuel in a ratio of ~30% resulting further significant reduction of CO2.
2. RDF / biomass-fired unit of 38 MW capacity
At present the power plant generates electricity of ~480 GWh/year by burning biomass/RDF of ~400,000 t/year. By the planned shut-down of all lignite-fired units in 2025, the energetic utilization of this amount of biomass/RDF would be terminated, as currently the same technology is used for firing all these fuels. It makes the further development and extension of the existing supply system and infrastructure reasonable. The operation of the new RDF/biomass unit will be realised in line with the objectives of the National Waste Management Strategy.
3. Implementation of photovoltaic solar parks with the capacity of 200 MW on recultivated mining areas
New solar parks with maximum 2 x ~100 MWe capacities are planned to be implemented in the area of Visonta and Bükkábrány mines depending on terrain conditions. The PV installations will start in accordance with the recultivation schedule of the mines. In parallel with the implementation of PV power plant parks, the construction of P2G type energy storage based on hydrogen production technology is also planned in line with Hungary’s National Hydrogen Strategy, which facilitates the integration of solar power plants into the electricity system.
4. CCSU pilot project - CO2 capture, storage and utilization
Realisation of a pilot project using CCSU (Carbon Capture Storage and Utilization) technology is also among our plans. This technology includes, in particular, the capture of CO2 from the flue gas of the gas turbine units, its storage, and recovery at product level, as well as being related to the use of green hydrogen produced by the solar power plants. The pilot project can prepare the ground for the installation of a commercial-scale CCS power plant unit capable of using other carbon dioxide sources later on, and plays a pioneering role in the field of CO2 recovery.
5. Industry development
The fifth pillar of our modernization programme is based on the special production and service capacities of Mátra Power Plant and its subsidiaries. Technological transition of the power plant will be realised in the framework of a complex area development programme, which secures keeping the available skilled staff longer in work. The goal of area development is to provide a liveable natural and predictable economic environment for both the population and the employers.
With its 2,000 employees, MVM Mátra Energy is one of the largest employers of the region. Together with its subsidiaries and partners of its industrial park, it supports the livelihood of nearly 3,000 families. That is why it is essential to maintain jobs during the transition to an environmentally friendly operation, and to make them sustainable in a longer term. Realising the green vision of the facility, phasing-out coal technology is also in line with the objectives of the EU Energy and Climate Policy, thus, EU tender resources can significantly contribute to financing the transformation process.
- LIFE-IP North-HU-Trans project
A project with a total budget of HUF 5.2 billion over 9 years with retraining and corporate mobilization programmes. In addition, it implements complex planning, testing and evaluation for the decarbonisation of the power plant, the recultivation of mining areas, the promotion of energy-efficiency and regional green transport solutions.
Subsidy of more than one hundred billion forints can be applied for in the framework of the so-called 10c mechanism, which can be called in the form of free CO2 allowances to be distributed to electricity generating facilities for the modernization, diversification and sustainable transformation of the energy sector.
Just Transition Fund providing subsidy to areas facing heavy social and economic challenges due to the transition to a climate-neutral EU economy to be achieved by 2050. The further employment of employees is a high priority even after the termination of coal-fired electricity generation. The current mining activity is partly shifting to recultivation tasks, therefore part of the miners can be further employed in the mines. In addition, employees of Mátra will play a major role in the preparation of establishment of the planned state-of-the-art power plants. During the process of transition and future operation, the owner pays special attention to the skilled manpower available in the power plant and the mines, their retraining, and their employment in the new activities.
The transition to new operation and the new economic capacities will result in sustainable jobs and a more liveable environment in the region in the long run.