Politics

New Government to Abandon Plomin C Power Plant Project?

By 6 February 2016

Croatia's new environment minister on future strategy. 

Minister of Environment Protection Slaven Dobrović said on Saturday that it was completely logical and expected that the new energy strategy would not include the construction of the Plomin C coal power plant, reports Jutarnji List on February 6, 2016. "Croatia needs a new energy strategy. The current strategy from 2009 envisions capacities depending on imported coal. It is very difficult or even impossible to fit that idea with the new energy policies of the European Union, so it would be completely logical and expected that the new energy strategy would abandon such plans", said Dobrović.

Asked if he has received any such suggestions from Brussels, Dobrović said that there were no suggestions. "Brussels just sent us a message that they would launch an investigation about government grants given to this type of energy production", he said.

"We believe that it is necessary to urgently prepare a new energy strategy. So, given that now we have a new European energy policy with strict goals in terms of increasing renewable energy resources, energy efficiency and emission reductions, it is very hard to see where Plomin C type resource could fit in. However, the answers will be given by the energy strategy and I will not say anything definite now, but all the indications so far do not support expectations that the power plant could be built", explained the Minister.

"The decision will be made by people who will prepare the energy strategy, but it can be expected that Plomin C will not fit it, also because imported coal is economically unsustainable. First of all, we do not have any coal mines and the other thing is that it is a very problematic project given the emissions of pollutants", said Dobrović.

Asked what will happened with the Japanese company Marubeni which has won the tender for the construction of Plomin C, Dobrović said that he does not know whether there could be any financial liabilities. "However, potential liabilities would be incomparable with the damages which would be created by such a facility because it is both economically and environmentally unsustainable project", said Minister Dobrović.

It was estimated that the Plomin C project would cost between 800 million and a billion euros. Former government had strongly advocated the implementation of the project, even after 94 percent of the population of the Labin area voted against it in a referendum.

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