Court ruling could spell the end for Poland's 'last coal plant'

2nd August 2019

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Tara Barber

Poland's last planned coal plant may no longer go ahead after a court ruled that its construction was “legally invalid“ following concerns that the project poses major financial risks.

Doubts have been raised over the financial viability of the ‚Ǩ1.2bn Ostro≈ǃôka C coal plant amid soaring carbon prices and plummeting renewable energy costs. But the project's energy firm co-owner, Enea, has been pushing ahead, leading to “serious concerns“ among shareholders.

Climate lawyers filed a shareholder lawsuit against Enea, and a district court in Poznań has ruled that the company resolution authorising construction was not legally valid.

“This is an excellent result for Enea's shareholders and for the climate,“ said ClientEarth lawyer Peter Barnett. “The plant is a stranded asset in the making.“

The project still lacks around ‚Ǩ690m in financing, and will face financial penalties for failing to deliver the electricity it has committed to on time. Its other co-owner, Energa, has admitted that “the scale of the investment poses a significant challenge to the closure of its financing“.

ClientEarth said that major Polish energy firms have since started looking to alternative power sources, such as wind. “Enea and Energa need to look at what the future of energy is in Poland,“ said Marcin Stoczkiewicz, head of ClientEarth Poland.

Image credit: iStock

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