Development and implementation of a temperature and pollutant monitoring program for preservation of maritime evidence as part of the approval procedure the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Wilhelmshaven
- 2008 – 2010: Concept development
- 2010 – 2011: Execution of the reference measurements
- 2015 – 2018: Execution of the measurements after commissioning
- 2018: Evaluation of the results
- Electrabel Kraftwerk Wilhelmshaven GmbH & Co. KG
- GDF SUEZ Energie Deutschland AG
- ENGIE Deutschland AG
Preservation of evidence
or the approval procedure for construction and operation of a coal-fired power plant, among other things a permit per Water Law under § 7 of the Water Resources Act was required for the discharge of cooling water, filter belt hosing water, rainwater and treated process water. For this permit, impact forecasts were conducted and the construction- and operation-related effects on environment were evaluated. These evaluations were then to be validated by a preservation of evidence program. The essential parameters of the preservation of evidence were development of water temperatures in the discharge area of the heated cooling water as well as related pollution of the water body and of surrounding sediments.
IMP developed the associated preservation of evidence concept for recording the temperature plume in the vicinity of the cooling water discharge and for the sampling concept to record pollutant load in the water body and in new sediments. The preservation of evidence measurements were designed according to the so-called BACI-concept (Before / After / Control / Impact).
The special challenges were firstly the existing background exposure by a coal-fired power plant dating back to the 70’s in immediate proximity and secondly the practical implementation of defined requirements for such measurements in the highly variable water body of the estuary.
After that, IMP was also employed to execute the developed preservation of evidence program. Before the power plant was built, zero measurements consisting of continuous measurements of water temperature were conducted and then evaluated at six positions and two reference points over the period of one year. During the same period, water temperature profiles were repeatedly measured over one whole tidal period to map the area of the discharge plume and the temperature spread. Another task was to take samples of new sediments in several surveys, each over roughly four weeks, in order to determine heavy metal contamination. Beyond this, water samples were regularly collected at defined locations and at predetermined horizontal levels and analysed regarding heavy metal and nutrient load.
While all analyses were carried out by accredited laboratories, evaluation and assessment of the results were carried out by IMP. After completing the test phase and commissioning the power plant, the corresponding measurements are now repeated since 2015.
When measurements are completed, which is expected for 2018, the results from the reference and operational state will be compared to each other and the effects of the recorded impacts from the power-plant construction will be evaluated.
First intermediate results were able to quantify the impact of the existing power plant as well as the additional effect of the new power plant. Furthermore, the profile measurements allow for the estimation of the shape and size of the temperature plume. Inspection of pollution levels primarily exhibits that the analysed pollutant parameters vary across a broad range both at the reference points and at the positions inside the discharge plume.
Finally, it is intended to compare the results to the assumptions of impact forecasts created during the approval procedure so that the basis for approval can be verified conclusively.