Croatian coal power plant predicted to be a killer – new study
Bankwatch Mail | 10 May 2013
A new report by Greenpeace Croatia, using European Environment Agency methodology, shows that the planned new 500 MW unit at the Plomin coal power plant in Croatia will cause approximately 17 early deaths annually, along with around 3970 lost working days due to illness and EUR 124.8 million in external costs.
This article is from Issue 56 of our quarterly newsletter Bankwatch Mail
The study exposes as misplaced Croatian electricity company HEP’s repeated attempts to cast the plant as ‘clean’, and shows that even if the new plant is more efficient than the existing Plomin 1, it will still have significant social costs. While not formally involved in Plomin C as yet, the EBRD is widely reckoned to be a potential source of project finance for Plomin C.
Using emissions data from HEP’s own environmental impact assessment, the new study takes a conservative approach and does not include the social costs of the existing Plomin 2 unit, which will continue to operate for part of Plomin C’s planned lifetime.
Croatia has no active coal mines and all coal must be imported from overseas, from various locations including South Africa, the US, Colombia and Indonesia. While this report focuses only on the impact of the process of burning coal to produce electricity, it should also be taken into account that the entire process – or life cycle – of coal, from mining, through transport, handling, burning and waste disposal, and in some cases land reclamation, has a direct impact on the environment, human health and the social fabric of communities living near mines and other facilities, through water and air pollution and disruption of ecosystems.
Zoran Tomic, of Greenpeace Croatia, commented: “The report shows that if Croatia supports the construction of new coal power plants, it will be locked into unsustainable development for the coming decades, with harmful consequences for public health, the climate, tourism and the economy. The government needs to support the energy system of the future, enabling strong advancement of renewable energy, smart networks, and energy efficiency measures, which will not only help in the fight against climate change but also provide numerous jobs and business opportunities.”
Bernard Ivcic of Zelena akcija/Friends of the Earth Croatia, which is currently challenging the environmental permit for Plomin C in court, added: “It is not yet clear who – if anyone – will finance Plomin C, but if the EBRD is considering it, it should take these new findings into account in its project appraisal. An average of 17 deaths per year just to generate electricity cannot be justified: we have to use less energy and clean, renewable resources to generate it.”
Background information and updates on the Plomin coal power plant in Croatia are available on our project page at: