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Marubeni Still in Bid Race for Croatian Coal-fired Power Plant

Tensions are rising in Indonesia over a Japanese backed coal fired power plant set to be built in Batang, Indonesia. On the other side of the world, in Labin, Croatia, another battle is taking place. In November 2012, the local Croatian NGO, Zelena Akcija/Friends of the Earth Croatia wrote to the Japanese trading company Marubeni, one of the leading bidders of a proposed plant, pleading them to end their interest in the project.

plomin siluete

In May 2013, Greenpeace, Zelena Akcija/Friends of the Earth Croatia, and another Croatian NGO, Zelena Istra held a conference where they presented findings using methodology by the European Environmental Agency which show that a staggering 680 premature deaths (17 a year) are estimated to occur over the lifetime of the proposed power plant. Following this conference, a public protest launched by Greenpeace and the two Croatian NGOs had the site of the Plomin 1 power plant covered in 680 black silhouettes; a haunting reminder of the human toll the power plant will cause if constructed (see photo).

The 2 Croatian NGOs and several local residents appealed to the court in October 2012 and the complaints were taken to court in June 2013 to appeal to the Croatian Ministry for Protection of the Environment and Nature to stop the construction of the power plant, called Plomin C. Arguments against the project include the fact that the proposed 500MW coal plant violates the Istria County Spatial Plan which only allows gas-powered plants of up to 125MW as well as the fact that plant will be classified as a reconstruction of an existing plant, not a new one, allowing for more relaxed emission limits. Opponents of the project await the second hearing which is to take place next month in October 2013.

Given that EU’s climate legislation is becoming increasingly strict in terms of greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, plans to build coal-fired power plants will be become more and more risky as the switch to renewable energy becomes more commonplace. Early investors like Germany’s RWE and supposedly Korea’s KOSEP have already dropped out of the bid race. There is still hope that Marubeni Corp, possibly the only bidder left, will also follow suit and direct their investment to cleaner, more sustainable power projects.

Sources:

RWE won’t bid for strategic partner in Plomin C thermal plant, September 17th, 2012, See Business
http://www.see-business.eu/croatia/croatia-business/rwe-wont-bid-for-strategic-partner-in-plomin-c-thermal-plant/

HEP: Binding offers for Plomin C to be submitted by end of October – August 26th, 2013, dalje.com
http://dalje.com/en-croatia/hep–binding-offers-for-plomin-c-to-be-submitted-by-end-of-october/480676

Associations Demand Cancellation of Plomin C TPP Project over Estimated High Costs on Human Health – May 10th, 2013, One World See
http://oneworldsee.org/content/associations-demand-cancellation-plomin-c-tpp-project-over-estimated-high-costs-human-health

Dodgy Deal: Plomin C coal power plant, July 22nd, 2013, Bank Track
http://www.banktrack.org/manage/ajax/ems_dodgydeals/createPDF/plomin_c_coal_power_plant

[Campaign update] Arctic Sunrise joins campaign against coal power plant in Croatia – April 17th, 2013, Bank Watch
http://bankwatch.org/node/10302

TE Plomin C to cause as many as 680 premature deaths over 40 years, May 3rd, 2013, Zelena Akcija/Friends of the Earth Croatia
http://zelena-akcija.hr/en/programmes/energy_and_climate_change/te_plomin_c_to_cause_as_many_as_680_premature_deaths_over_40_years

Only Marubeni stays in competition for TPP Plomin C construction, Edison and KOSEP withdraw from competition, June 13th, 2013, See Business
http://www.see-business.eu/croatia/croatia-business/only-marubeni-stays-in-competition-for-tpp-plomin-c-construction-edison-and-kosep-withdraw-from-competition/

Photo Source:

Associations Demand Cancellation of Plomin C TPP Project over Estimated High Costs on Human Health – May 10th, 2013, One World See
http://oneworldsee.org/content/associations-demand-cancellation-plomin-c-tpp-project-over-estimated-high-costs-human-health