Coal plant Onyx on Maasvlakte not closed after all

The Onyx coal-fired power station on the Maasvlakte will not close after all. Minister Jetten for Climate and Energy writes to the House of Representatives that the owner, the American investor Riverstone, has withdrawn the closing plan. The plant will remain in operation for at least another year, the management says.

In November last year, the cabinet came up with Riverstone match that the plant would close. According to the cabinet, this was an important step in achieving the goals the Urgenda judgment to get. Coal-fired power stations emit a lot of carbon dioxide, the Onyx power station produces 3 megatons of CO2 per year. As compensation for the closure, the owner would receive 212.5 million euros in subsidy.

That was widely seen as a good deal for Riverstone, because the investor would have bought the plant a few years earlier for less, about 200 million, from the French energy company Engie.

‘Very disappointed’

Minister Jetten writes to the House of Representatives that he is “very disappointed” with Riverstone’s decision to keep the power station open longer. “It is a bad decision for the climate. There was a good package of agreements and an appropriate subsidy scheme. For that reason, I think it is unwise that Onyx Power is going back on this agreement.”

In his letter, Jetten does not indicate the reason for Riverstone’s decision. In a written statement, the company writes that it is still not clear whether the European Commission does agree with the subsidy for the closure. This could be seen as unauthorized state aid.

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