MP calls for end to legal wrangling over electricity plant

2nd September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Green Left MP Liesbeth van Tongeren has called on energy concern RWE/Essent and environmental organisations to end the legal wrangling concerning the construction of a new coal-burning electricity plant in the northern town of Eemshaven in the province of Groningen.

Last week, the Netherlands highest advisory organ - the Council of State – ruled that the energy company should never have received a Nature Conservation Act permit after the Wadden Sea Association filed a complaint.  The electricity plant is being built near the Wadden Sea, which is listed by UNESCO as a heritage site. However, Economic Affairs Minister Maxim Verhagen dismissed the ruling almost as soon as it was issued. The Council of State also annuled a licence to dredge the River Eems to allow ships carrying coal into the estuary.

The provincial authorities are so far allowing the energy company to continue construction of the half-built energy plant. Greenpeace filed a complaint, but the Council of State has now ruled that construction can continue as the province should be given more time to consider the matter.

According to Ms van Tongeren, the latest ruling by the Council of State is not a time for victory or defeat, but a time to go to the negotiating table. The MP hopes the different parties can agree to build an electricity plant using biomass instead of one that burns coal.

In April, another energy company Nuon decided to build a gas-burning electricity plant instead of a coal-burning one in Eemshaven.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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