RWE tallies economic loss after activists block open-pit lignite mine

FRANKFURT, June 23 (Reuters) - Germany’s RWE is tallying the economic loss after environmental activists entered and occupied its Garzweiler open-pit lignite mine over the weekend, the utility said on Sunday.

The 1,300 protesters, demanding an immediate exit from coal use, also blocked tracks for coal supply lines, as well as set fires to a pump station, switch cabinets and vehicles, RWE said.

“There is a plan on the table for phasing-out coal and there is no reason to endanger people and carry out illegal actions,” Frank Weigand, chief executive officer of RWE Power, said in a statement.

The company said that electricity generation was never at risk but that the company suffered an economic loss, “which is currently being determined”.

Reporting by Tom Sims