Today, the Dutch Government announced that Vattenfall’s Hemweg-8 power plant in Amsterdam should stop using coal as a fuel for electricity production by the end of 2019. In part, this will meet the ‘Urgenda target’* of 25% CO2 reduction by 2020. Early closure will have major consequences for Vattenfall’s Dutch production operation and its employees at the Hemweg plant. This amendment of the bill to the prohibition of coal for electricity production means that the Hemweg power plant will have to stop operating without the previously announced transitional period of 5 years.
The previous bill proposed a transitional period until 2025, in order to come to a well-prepared closure. With this amended bill, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate proposes a heavy measure in the very short term.
In May 2018, the Government presented its bill for the ban on coal as a fuel for electricity production. Vattenfall’s Dutch operation was given time until the end of 2024, before the Hemweg power station had to close its doors. At the time, Vattenfall respected that bill and has adjusted its plans accordingly. Last year, the company had to make additional investments to enable the plant to operate safely until the end of 2024.
Exploratory talks have been held between the government and Vattenfall. The Dutch Government has indicated that the level of the compensation for losses will be discussed further in the coming period. Vattenfall has confidence in a good outcome of those discussions.
* In the Urgenda case against the Dutch Government, the District Court of The Hague ruled that the government must cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by the end of 2020 (compared to 1990 levels). The ruling required the government to immediately take more effective action on climate change.
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