Nuon loses Groningen coal power licence

The environmental licence granted to energy concern Nuon for its huge new coal-fired power plant in Groningen has been revoked by the highest judicial body in the Netherlands, Dutch newspapers report on Thursday.

It is the second licence to be withdrawn for the power station. Earlier this year the plant’s nature conservation permit was also reversed by the Council of State.
The appeal against the environment licence was submitted by several organisations including Greenpeace.
In its ruling the Council of State said the provincial government of Groningen which granted the permit had allowed excessive norms for the emission of harmful substances and Nuon had not made it clear enough that it would do everything possible to limit emissions.
It stressed that the ruling applies only to the Magnum plant and has no impact on the four other coal-fired plants planned by other energy firms in the Netherlands.
In a reaction, Nuon told reporters that it expects the problem with the licences to be sorted out quickly. Construction at the plant has been at a standstill since the earlier ruling in May and it is now ‘unrealistic’ to think that the unit will be operational in 2011 as originally planned.

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