Croatia: Energy company HEP has no reason to stop Plomin C despite environment campaigns claim from Green NGOs

, SEE Energy News

Before the referendum on Sunday when 25,000 citizens of Labinstina replied NO to the question on the building a thermal power plant Plomin C on coal, the mayor of Labin Tulio Demetlika said that he was solely committed for the use of gas as a fuel, while the director of this project Ljubica Cvenic pointed out that studies showed that the gas was unprofitable at that location and that, regardless of the referendum result, HEP had no reason to stop the project.

“We, in Istria, do not want the coal, we are exclusively for gas as energy source, and if the referendum result would be against coal, it would be our arguments to negotiate again with representatives of relevant ministries and to begin a transparent talk on this issue”, said the mayor of Labin Tulio Demetlika, commenting on a radio show, “In the network of the first one”, the possible result of the referendum on Sunday.

Demetlika, who believes that things around Plomin C, thermal power plants, which should be run on coal, have not been completed yet, primarily bothers that local community was not involved in the whole process. Among other things, he proposes four smaller power plants deployed in the entire Croatian instead of thermal power plant in this area.

On the other hand, Ljubica Cvenic, Project Director of Thermal Power Plant Plomin C, pointed out that for many years coal has been, is and will remain in the future one of the energy source that was a guarantee for stable and secure electricity supply in Europe and in the world.

“The coal price is the least sensitive to geopolitical changes of referendum of Plomin C, coal is available from many different directions, and it remains indispensable. Also, the development of new technologies has significantly reduced the former enormous negative emissions”, said Cvenic, adding that they are still in negotiations with a Japanese strategic partner who offers, as claims, and competitive prices and first class technology.

As one of the leading problems why the construction of Plomin C should start, Cvenić cites the fact that Croatia will have to shut down several thermal power plants of more than a thousand megawatts in the next few years.

“The project is responsible analyzed from all possible aspects and the conclusion was that natural gas as fuel at the site cannot be considered because it would be unprofitable”, said the director of the project Thermal Power Plant Plomin C, adding that HEP as the project carrier, regardless of the result of Sunday’s referendum, there is no reason to stop the project because, she said, so far everything is made by law.

Vedran Juric, Director of HEP Department of Investment, added that the messages about the project stopping entered unease among investors. Juric, moreover, stated that the coal combustion technique have visibly progressed in recent years and therefore have drastically reduced the risks to people and the environment.

“Europe does not give up of coal; for example, only in Germany there are over 50 coal thermal power plants, 13 million people live in Germany behind the coal thermal power plants. In the Mediterranean, we have 40,000 megawatts of installed coal. Also, coal remains in all European projects by 2050th“, said Juric.

On the other hand, Dusica Radojcic, from Green Istria, said that public discussion on that project was not carried out according to the regulations and that they ignored all complaints related to the environmental study.

“Coal is a silent killer, people suffer from cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, asthma”, said Radojcic, adding that, according to some researches, 700 people could die over the next 40 years due to the Thermal Power Plant Plomin C.

“It is sad when everyone turns to renewable energy sources, and we plan the plant on fuel from the past. If coal as an energy source is cheap and readily available to HEP it is only because they do not count on all of the negative consequences that this will have on the whole of society”, concluded the activist of Green Istria.