August 1, 2019 / 9:13 AM / 4 months ago

Polish court ruling undermines Poland's last coal power plant plan

WARSAW, Aug 1 (Reuters) - A Polish district court has ruled as invalid last year’s decision by state-run utility Enea to join a project to build a 1 gigawatt (GW) coal-fuelled power plant in cooperation with peer Energa , Enea said on Thursday.

The planned power plant at Ostroleka in north-east Poland was supposed to be the last coal-based project in the coal-dependent country, the energy minister had said.

The project, which is expected to be completed in 2023 at a cost of 6 billion zlotys ($1.5 billion), has been opposed by environmentalists who say it only strengthens Poland’s reliance on coal and is not economically justifiable.

The plan to build the plant was initially revived by Energa, another state-run energy group, in 2016 in response to a government policy to keep using coal as the basic source of energy over the long term.

Enea’s shareholders voted in September last year in favour of the company’s joining the project. But the vote was questioned by environmental lawyers ClientEarth, who asked the court to rule Enea shareholders’ decision invalid.

Enea didn’t give any details on the reasoning for the court’s ruling on Wednesday, which is appealable.

Enea was not immediately available to comment.

Shares in Enea rose more than 4% by 0834.

$1 = 3.8868 zlotys Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko Editing by David Holmes

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