Several Local Utilities Want to Leave SüdWestStrom’s Brunsbüttel Power Plant Project

With the public utilities of the towns of Schleswig, Wedel and Quickborn, more local utilities announced that they no longer want to participate in the 1,800 MW coal-fired power plant project in Brunsbüttel near Hamburg. All companies cited the government’s nuclear power extension as a reason.

SüdWestStrom’s Brunsbüttel coal-fired power plant is scheduled to start operations in 2015. The project involved more than ninety public utilities from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It was developed when the 2002  “exit amendment” (Ausstiegsnovelle) of the Atomic Energy Act (AtG), which provided for a quicker phase-out of nuclear energy, still applied.

In December, the small public utility of Energie Waldeck-Frankenberg (EWF) told the local newspaper Waldeckische Landeszeitung that the shareholders’ meeting of SüdWestStrom had decided to put construction on hold and to analyze the impact of the nuclear power extension on the project.

After the government’s presentation of its new Energy Concept, which includes the disputed nuclear power extension, several local utilities announced to reconsider their engagement in the Brunsbüttel project. Stadtwerke Rotenburg declared their withdrawal in December. Now the utilities of Schleswig, Wedel and Quickborn followed suit. Wedel and Quickborn also gave environmental concerns as reasons. Schleswig told the local newspaper that it wanted to engage in an offshore wind farm off the island of Borkum in the North Sea instead.

GDF Suez was recently reported to abandon its 800 MW coal-fired power plant project in Brunsbüttel. Long permitting procedures, the lack of partners and the nuclear power extension were given as reasons.

Sources: Schleswig-Holsteiner Zeitung, Hamburger Abendblatt, Euronews

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