Case study – Conversion of the cogeneration unit Amercentrale in the Netherlands

explosion-proof co-firing conveyor technology
Installation location

Geertruidenberg, Netherlands


Retrofitting a fossil-fired combined heat and power plant for biomass transport

Conveyed material

Reclaimed wood and wood pellets

Year of construction

2016 to 2019


Trough chain conveyors, belt conveyors, screw conveyors, silo screw reclaimers and the modernization of a complete silo

Special features

Engineering, production and delivery of the extensive fire and explosion protection technology

Sustainable conversion of an RWE coal-fired power plant with Loibl conveyor systems

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Case study

Pellets are turned into energy – With intelligent conveying solutions from Loibl

Every Loibl conveyor has been encapsulated and for explosion protection reasons provided with extra heavy-duty sidewalls. The flat belts are antistatic, extremely resistant to abrasion, oil and grease as well as flame retardant. All conveyors are equipped with special detectors for surroundings with fire and explosion hazard as well as with appropriate extinguishing systems. If an explosion is detected extinguishing agent is blown in, suppressing the explosion in its earliest stages and its spreading is prevented. Fire extinguishing systems installed into containers, which are located along the conveyors ensure a safe and quick extinguishing of the conveying lines.

After having transported the wood pellets through the troughed belt conveyors from the port, it goes on to four storage silos in encapsulated trough chain conveyors. Every trough chain conveyor has a capacity of 800 tons per hour. Overall, the material is transported over a distance of almost 840 meters. The pellets are stored temporarily in the storage silos before they are continued to be transported to the boiler firing. In addition to the comprehensive steel structures refurbishment and construction work, Loibl has extensively refurbished a silo and equipped it with a silo screw reclaimer which transfers the pellets into trough chain conveyors distributing the material over a total length of approx. 500 m to several tubular screw conveyors. Through the screws the pellets enter into the storage bin. From there they are fed into the mills where they are pulverized and blown into the boiler for combustion.

Numerous flat slide gates as well as various accessories, such as dust filter systems, complete the scope of supply.

Project gallery

Loibl and RWE have been working successfully for many years. Retrofitting of Amercentrale is the largest project so far with the energy giant. Located at the river Amer near to the city of Geertruidenberg is one of biggest cogeneration plant in the Netherlands. The plant has been in operation since 1993 and generates 600 Megawatt electricity as well as 350 MW heat. Optimization and maintenance of the power plant was a major consideration for RWE in terms of long-term profitability and economic efficiency. To keep the output volume, the switchover took place gradually using the co-firing method. A mix of fossil and regenerative fuels is fired simultaneously. In addition to hard coal and waste wood, mainly wood pellets are used, which derive from sustainable forestry. Loibl‘s state-of-the-art biomass transport system has been especially adapted to the specific characteristics of these partially polluted and rather homogenous, i.e. “flowable”, materials. In this way, the power plant can be changed completely to a CO2 neutral energy production until 2025.

Frank Dietrich

Sales Engineer

Tel. +49 9421 / 9256-917
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