After years of protests the Minister of Economy has declared that the coal power plant Plomin in Istria, Croatia will not be expanded as the electricity company HEP Proizvodnja wanted. Photo: Flickr.com / Carlo Mirante-cc-by
Coal project in Croatia stopped
Croatian electricity company HEP Proizvodnja was proposing that a new 500 MW unit replace the ageing Plomin 1 plant, at the site of the existing Plomin Power Station. As a result, the Plomin Power Station capacity would have increased from 335 MW to 710 MW
“After five years of campaigning against the construction of the harmful Plomin C coal power plant, a big victory was achieved,” reported the Croatian environmental organisation Zelena Akcija last year. The Minister of Economy, Tomislav Panenić, had stated that the realisation of this project had been cancelled. In a press statement Zelenya Akcia said:
“We are sure that after convincing arguments against the construction and the circumstances that occurred, the Government had no other choice but to stop Plomin C.
We send a big thank you to all the citizens that supported us in this big campaign.
During the campaign we have reported extensively on the harmful environmental and health consequences, low economic feasibility and the negative impact of this project in terms of climate change, as well as its incompatibility with EU regulations, and constantly advocated for the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. We organised around 40 activities, performances, lectures and other events, conducted several studies on the legality, economics and energy efficiency of the project. We also initiated three court cases and one case was sent to DORH (the Croatian State’s Attorney Office); we sent around 10 letters to potential investors and banks arguing the harmfulness of the project; organised a big campaign before the advisory (local) referendum in Labinština; and communicated with the European Commission pointing out that the planned contract between HEP (Croatian Power Utility) and the Japanese investor is unacceptable.”
Zelenia Akcija summarized that “all of these activities, in conjunction with the increased European practice of abandoning coal, have led to the current situation where the realisation of the Plomin C project is no longer possible. As a result, Croatia has been saved from a power plant that would run on imported coal and pollute the air for the next 40 years, while producing extremely expensive electricity and contributing to climate change. This project started seven or eight years ago and was promoted by the old HDZ (Christian Democrat or centre-right) government, and later, with the same enthusiasm, by the Kukuriku coalition government (centre-left), as well as some ministers in the current government (right-wing). With the discontinuation of Plomin C, the opportunity for a big step forward in the energy sector has finally been created. It will now be necessary to ensure a good energy strategy and a strategy for low-carbon development, which can’t include new coal power plants, but must be based on energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources.”
Zeleny Akcija send a big thank you to all the citizens that supported this big campaign. As a reminder, the idea of constructing this power plant was rejected last year in a referendum by 94 per cent of Labinština’s inhabitants, and according to research conducted by the IPSOS agency two years ago, 64 per cent of Croatian citizens were against the Plomin C project.
Zelenia Akcija concluded that it will continue to keep track of the process and try to ensure a good energy policy in Croatia that won’t allow projects like Plomin C. If some unreasonable, incompetent or corrupt government official decides to restart this project, it will surely know how to respond and continue the campaign.”
Source: Zelena Akcija press release 15 June 2016: http://zelena-akcija.hr/en/programmes/energy_and_climate_change/we_stopp...