Lawsuit against the Croatian coal-fired power plant

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Plomin 1 is a 50-year-old coal-fired power plant whose environmental permit expired in 2018, and was closed after a major fire, several months before the permit expired. However, shortly afterwards, HEP initiated the procedure for issuing a new environmental permit, which the Ministry eventually issued. As no environmental impact assessment was carried out in the process to determine the acceptability of the extension and as the procedure was marked by irregularities, Zelena akcija and Zelena Istra sued the Ministry, requesting the revocation of the issued permit.

The first hearing was held at the Administrative Court in Rijeka due to TPP Plomin 1, in a procedure in which HEP has the status of an interested person and together with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development actively defends the decision to issue an environmental permit that would continue to burn coal.

A turn in the world but not in Croatia

The Greens say that it is devastating that HEP and the Government continue to count on coal as an important energy source in the long run, because the coal era is coming to an end quickly. “Despite that, all HEP governments and managements strongly advocated the use of coal in that period. This resulted in the current situation in which Croatia does not have a plan for real and rapid decarbonisation, but in strategic documents tries to continue the existing model for as long as possible. It is unbelievable that they continue with such an energy policy and count on electricity from the ancient thermal power plant Plomin 1 for the next 15 to 20 years. No planned modernization will eliminate the greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the re-commissioning of this TPP. ” stands in a statement from the Greens.

They emphasize that Croatia needs an urgent plan to completely abandon coal, ie TPP Plomin 1 should be completely abandoned, prepare for the closure of TPP Plomin 2 in the next five years and urgently start the process of transition of the energy sector to renewable sources. Numerous countries have developed and time-determined plans for the so-called coal – phase-out, ie cessation of coal use in the energy sector.

For example, Belgium closed its last coal-fired thermal power plant in 2016, and Austria and Sweden did so last year, while in Portugal the last coal-fired thermal power plant will be closed this year. A similar decision should be made by the Republic of Croatia and resolutely embark on the path of ending the use of coal, the Greens call.