RWE’s 1560MW coal-fired power plant project stalled by Dutch high court

By Dorothy Davis

German utility RWE’s Euro 2.9 billion (US$4.2 billion) coal-fired power plant project at the Ems estuary in the Netherlands has been stalled by a ruling from the highest Dutch administrative court.

The State Council in The Hague overturned construction and operating permits granted in 2008 for the project, concluding proper environmental assessments had not been completed to determine the impact of the new coal-fired power plant on the Wadden Sea and East Frisian Islands.

Dutch utility Essent now controlled by RWE began construction on the 1,560 megawatt coal-fired plant in 2009, which was slated to begin operations in 2013. In order to complete construction a widening of the Eemshaven-Sea channel waterway would be necessary, a move the State Council has also denied due to environmental concerns.

With the existing licenses annulled, RWE would have to re-submit applications to the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture and Environment as well as the provinces of Groningen and Friesland in order to move ahead.

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