July 23, 2019 / 6:55 AM / 4 months ago

French court throws out appeal against Total's gas power plant

FILE PHOTO: A logo for oil giant Total is seen at a petrol station in London February 12, 2008. REUTERS/Stephen Hird/File Photo

NANTES, France (Reuters) - A French court has rejected an appeal by activists against Total’s planned 440 megawatt (MW) capacity Landivisiau gas-fired combined cycle power plant in the Brittany region of northwestern France.

The project, which Total took over following its $1.7 billion acquisition of French alternative energy supplier Direct Energie, is over two years behind schedule due to various court appeals by activists trying to stop the project.

Judges at the administrative court of appeal in Nantes said late on Monday that the project was not a risk to the environment, nor was it situated on a protected natural area.

The court said the Brittany region produces only around 7% of energy it consumes, and power consumption in the region is increasing faster than the national average due to strong demographic growth, which is increasing electricity demand.

Total has made financial commitments to go ahead with the project.

French electricity grid operator RTE has said Landivisiau was critical in guaranteeing France’s security of power supply for the winter 2020/2021 period given the planned shutdown France’s last four coal power plants, and the shutdown of the Fessenheim nuclear power plant.

Reporting by Guillaume Frouin; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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