GE Technology Helps Czech Republic Coal-Fired Power Plants Reduce NOx Emissions by 60 Percent and Comply with EU Emission Standards

May 09, 2016
  • GE’s Power Services Plays Major Role in Helping Operators from ČEZ Group Improve Local Air Quality
  • Počerady and Mělník Power Plants Upgrades Have Combined Value of About 47 Million EUR
  • Projects Showcase Value of GE’s Proven Solutions for Any Boiler Type and New, Expanded Capabilities to Service Non-GE Equipment throughout Central and Eastern Europe

Prague -May 09, 2016- GE recently completed advanced boiler modernization projects at the coal-fired plant Elektrárna Počerady, a. s. from and the coal-fired Mělník I power plant, operated by Energotrans a. s., both from ČEZ Group.  These upgrades reduced the power plants’ nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 60 percent, enabling the stations to supply power and heat to households and industries in compliance with European Union (EU) emissions standards.

 “The refurbishment of the Mělník I power plant guarantees Prague, Neratovice and Mělník reliable long-term deliveries of heat generated in an environmentally sound manner,” said Miroslav Krpec, CEO of Energotrans. “Citizens of Prague and the Central Bohemian Region quickly benefitted from cleaner air as we brought the modernized equipment into operation in stages throughout 2015.”

With its enhanced capabilities to service other manufacturers’ generation equipment, GE modernized four, 200 MW pulverized coal boilers- originally supplied by Czech engineering group Vitkovice-at the Počerady power plant in the northwestern part of the country, as well as six Vitkovice-supplied pulverized coal boilers at the 1089MWt/h Mělník I power plant. The combined value of the upgrade projects was approximately 47 million EUR.

“Over a period of only six days, at the Počerady power plant we gradually increased the output of each boiler from 130 to 190 MW to ensure everything worked properly. Each boiler passed demanding stress tests and we are very satisfied with the performance of the new equipment and the project execution of the GE team,” said Jiří Kulhánek, CEO of the Elektrárna Počerady, a. s. power plant of the ČEZ Group.

“We are very proud to have helped our customers significantly improve their environmental performance and local air quality to the benefit of the health of local residents and the wider environment, earlier than required under the European rules.[1]” said Pascal Schweitzer, general manager of GE’s Power Services business in Europe. “As a result of our acquisition of the former Alstom Power business, GE now has a wider range of smart, proven technologies to reduce power plant emissions and help power producers to meet Europe’s demanding emissions standards.”

Nitrogen oxides are byproducts of combustion processes. It is crucial for operators to control NOx emissions because not only is NOx a major air pollutant by itself, but it also reacts in the atmosphere to form ozone-the primary constituent of smog- and acid rain. Ozone remains a significant air pollution problem worldwide, with many people continuing to be exposed to unhealthy levels in the air they breathe.[2]

As a result, the EU’s pollution reduction efforts are focused greatly on controlling emissions from large fossil fuel combustion plants-those with an installed capacity of 50 MW or greater. Under the applicable EU Directive,[3] NOx emissions from such plants must be below 200mg/Nm3, meaning operators of many power stations and heat generation plants are required to modernise their facilities to comply with the legislation.

The Počerady and Mělník boiler modernization projects extend GE’s growing list of NOx emissions reduction reference projects in the Czech Republic and throughout Central and Eastern Europe. GE now has completed four projects of this kind in the Czech Republic and has identified a continued need for emissions and lifetime extension-driven modernization projects in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans and in countries such as Turkey and Russia.

About GE’s Power Services Business

GE’s Power Services business, headquartered in Baden, Switzerland, delivers world-class solutions for our customers across total plant assets and their operational lifetimes. This organization supports 2,800+ customers worldwide with an installed base of 28,000+ power generation assets, which includes other OEMs, and taps into the Industrial Internet to improve the performance of our solutions over the entire life cycle through the power of software and big data analytics.

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About GE Power

GE Power is a world leader in power generation with deep domain expertise to help customers deliver electricity from a wide spectrum of fuel sources. We are transforming the electricity industry with the digital power plant, the world’s largest and most efficient gas turbine, full balance of plant, upgrade and service solutions as well as our data-leveraging software. Our innovative technologies and digital offerings help make power more affordable, reliable, accessible and sustainable.

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About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.


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Laura Aresi                                          Tereza Hola

GE Power - Power Services                  Ewing PR

Global Media Relations Leader            Tel.: +420 603 246 206                   


Waldemar Oldenburger


Communications Director                                                            

[1] The plants were obliged to gradually reduce emissions till 2020. With funding support from the EU, ČEZ and Energotrans committed to reduce plant emissions earlier than required.

[2] The European Environment Agency (EEA) reports that 97% of Europeans are exposed to O3 concentrations above the World Health Organization recommendations.

[3] The Industrial Emissions Directive, Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control), which came into force in 2011, commits European Union member states to control and reduce the impact of industrial emissions on the environment. Its main purpose is to reduce harmful industrial emissions, in particular through better application of best available techniques (BAT), thereby benefiting both citizens’ health and the environment.

Laura Aresi
GE Power - Power Services
+39 02 67335622