In 2018, RAG Montan Immobilien will invest around 20 m € in renovation and development projects in the Saarland. Markus Masuth (Figure 1), Chairman of the Executive Board for Essen-based RAG Montan Immobilien GmbH, made this announcement at the company’s annual press conference in Ensdorf. The majority of this investment will go towards the renovation of the former coke plant site in Neunkirchen-Geisheck and its spoil tip. This will be the largest of RAG Montan Immobilien’s renovation projects in the Saarland. “Just the first phase of construction alone incorporates an area of 14 ha,” explains Masuth. The project is due to start this year and is expected to run for several years.
Other initiatives are lined up for the district of Quierschied this year. These include the necessary clearing works at the two spoil tips in Camphausen, which the company has already begun. Both the Lydia tip and the tip to the north of the Fischbach railway are being cleared. At both sites, the sloped heaps are being flattened and efficient drainage systems are being laid. These two measures must be undertaken before the relevant mining authorities can end their supervision of the sites.
In Friedrichsthal, renovation works are under way at the Maybach spoil tip, as well as at the Duhamel tip in Ensdorf. In Luisen-thal, RAG Montan Immobilien is pushing ahead with its works at the former mining site. “Top of the agenda is dismantling the former processing plant, which many local residents will undoubtedly take to be very good news.” Work is also under way to produce detailed plans for clearing the spoil tip at this site. Here too, the sloped heaps must be flattened out and an efficient drainage system must be laid before the supervision of the site can end.
At a cost of around 5 m €, pits in Neunkirchen, Göttelborn, Sulzbach, Camphausen, Luisenthal, Schwalbach and Warndt have been renovated. “Part of our job is to inspect and secure surface openings. By doing this, we can make sure that these pits remain safe and secure for many years to come,” adds Masuth.
Once the dismantling of the Ensdorf coal processing plant is complete, the implementation of the Duhamel masterplan enters the next phase. This year, land-use planning proceedings will begin. At the same time, the urban development agreement with the district of Ensdorf is being drafted, and the next stages of the closure plan for the surface installation and the spoil tip are being implemented.
Preliminary work is under way on the noise protection installations at the “An der Geisswies” housing development. The second phase of construction will be completed this year. In Riegelsberg, RAG Montan Immobilien is working on a new housing development intended primarily for young families. Ahead of both these initiatives, events have been held to keep local residents informed of the plans.
“Green projects” are once again on the agenda this year. These include ecological restoration projects by landscape agency Landschaftsagentur Plus, an associated company of RAG Montan Immobilien, on another section along the Fischbach river in Quierschied, as well as an area surrounding the Erlenbrunnenbach river in Neunkirchen. The works to restore the Fischbach to nature form part of the clear-up operation of the spoil tips in Camphausen. The ecological restoration of Erlenbrunnenbach is a compensatory measure to counteract the works in Neunkirchen-Geisheck. In autumn, Landschaftsagentur Plus will begin with a species conservation initiative in Fürstenhausen. This requires vegetation to be kept to a constant minimum on the 13 ha site, which is why a herd of Aubrac cattle is being introduced to the area. The free-roaming animals will graze the area and prevent the further growth of vegetation. This is the first such grazing project RAG Montan Immobilien has undertaken in the Saarland. A similar project has been running for a few years in North Rhine-Westphalia, on the river meadows of the Lippe in Datteln.
RAG Montan Immobilien is currently working with montanWind to complete Gohlocher Forest wind farm. The first wind turbine has already been erected and work is under way to get the second one in place. The project rights for the Lebach Nord wind farm were sold to the operating company BayWa r.e. The final phase of construction on the Erkershöhe wind farm in Merchweiler started in February.
The company montanSOLAR, a subsidiary of RAG Montan Immobilien, was originally established to construct solar farms on former mining sites in the Saarland. It has since expanded its operations to Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia; and this year will see the company take its services to France for the first time. Terril Wendel and Porcelette, the new solar farms there, will cover a total area of 43 ha with photovoltaic modules. Each of these modules will generate 17 MWp (Megawatt peak) of power. This means approximately 11,330 households can be supplied with solar powered energy, based on an annual consumption of 3000 kWh. In the Saarland, Jägersfreude solar farm was started to be built in the first quarter of the year. The 2.3 MWp solar power plant will supply 677 households with solar energy. (RAG MI/Si.)