New RVR Decision Brings E.ON a Step Closer to Building the Coal-fired Datteln 4 Power Plant

The decision by the regional association for the Ruhr valley area (Regionalverband Ruhr – RVR) to initiate proceedings with the state planning authority to obtain permission to deviate from the state planning objectives brings E.ON a step closer to continuing construction on its 1100 MW coal-fired power plant in Datteln (Datteln 4).

In September 2009 OVG Münster declared the respective zoning plan void, arguing it contravened state planning objectives, inter alia because the state development plan set out a location for a large-scale power plant in the north east of the town farther away from residential housing than the location chosen. Subsequently, the regional administration in Münster (Bezirksregierung Münster) issued a partial construction stop. In June 2012 OVG Münster revoked the preliminary permit (Vorbescheid) for Datteln 4, which shall replace the three older Datteln 1 to 3 power plant units and E.ON’s Shamrock power plant in Herne.

Only if the state planning authority approved the deviations from the state planning objectives, the RVR assembly (Verbandsversammlung) could decide on an amendment of the regional plan, RVR pointed out. Following an amendment of the regional plan,  a new zoning plan has to be drawn up and approved. Then E.ON can apply for a new permit for Datteln 4 pursuant to the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG). This procedure would not only look into immission control matters, but also review compliance of Datteln 4 with building law and other relevant laws, as BImSchG permits have a so-called “concentration effect” (Konzentrationswirkung), meaning that (with few exceptions) other permits or licenses are not required. Hence it remains unclear if and when E.ON can continue building Datteln 4, for which E.ON has reportedly spent approximately EUR 1 billion so far.

Source: Regionalverband Ruhr

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