Croatia: EU bothered of guarantee for TPP Plomin C is given by the state and not by HEP power utility

, SEE Energy News

Despite environment campaigns and issues with European Commission on state aid case investigation, it seems that power utility HEP is pushing forward its TPP Plomin C JV project with Marubeni and GE Alstom.

After a decade of aggressive growth, the price of coal has a record low price, 50 dollars per ton. In the next five years it is expected for the price to drop further. The main reason for this is restructuring of the Chinese industry, which is consuming half of the global coal production. It is expected that the consumption will decrease for more than 500 million tons a year.

The additional blow to coal as a resource is the Paris Climate Agreement. The drop in coal price could be positive for Croatia, which has a part of energy capacities fueled by coal. By that we specifically mean Plomin and the investment in Plomin C. But that project is on hold due to financial and not ecological reasons. Since Croatia picked a Japanese company Marubeni as the best partner for this deal, the project did not get a green light from EU. What is problematic is the clause regarding power utility HEP buying half of the electric power at a fix price from Marubeni, which is considered by Brussels to be a disruption of market competition. Even though it is not clear who has the final sayings, either Brussels or Zagreb must make adjustments. Former Minister Ivan Vrdoljak said several times that nothing is over and that Brussels cannot forbid Croatia to build a thermal power plant. We are waiting for the new Government to be formed which can then make a political decision about the Plomin project. They remind us from HEP that the trend of low coal price has been present for some time, which makes the electricity production from coal, apart from nuclear and renewable sources, the safest option. “The policy of de-carbonization includes transferring to best possible available technology, which is the only possible way to implement projects in EU, because they replace production based mostly on old and less efficient coal and gas thermal power plants.  Plomin C with integrated capacity of 500 MW belongs to these technologies exactly. According to OSCE conclusions, and recent Conference in Paris, funding for these technologies will be available after 2017, and in poor countries it will be available for older technologies as well”, according to HEP.

They also add that the trend of low coal price, both from the geo political aspect and from the aspect of available reserves and supply lines is a good support system for making investment decisions to build conventional power plants necessary to maintain the stability of electric power system, says Poslovni dnevnik.

“The project of a coal thermal power plant Eemshaven in Netherlands with integrated capacity of 1600 MW, built by RWE confirms this. If the total production of electricity from existing coal power plants would be replaced by the power plants like Plomin C and Eemshaven, the emissions of main pollutants such as sulfur dioxide would be ten times smaller and CO2 emission would be reduced by 30%. These facts make a good perspective for the project TPP Plomin C” say in HEP, transmits