European Investment Bank ends rumours of finance for new coal power plant in Greece
(Brussels, 7th January 2014)
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will not provide support for the proposed Ptolemaida-5 lignite power plant project in Greece, despite claims made by the Public Power Corporation of Greece (PPC SA).
WWF has been told by the EIB that no official request has been made for financial support for this project. If such a request were to be made, it would fall under the new energy policy of the EIB voted last July. According to WWF, such a policy would clearly rule out the Ptolemaida-5 project given its very high level of CO2 emissions (1).
According to Sebastian Godinot, Economist at WWF European Policy Office
“This is good news not only for Greece but also as an important test case for EIB energy policy. The Ptolemaida-5 plant shows that the EIB clearly appears willing to “walk the talk” when it comes to its new energy policy. WWF calls on other financial institutions like KfW - the German government-owned development bank - to drop their support for this old-fashioned, polluting and uneconomic project (2).Clean energy alternatives are available in Greece and these merit full support.”
“WWF urges all public financial institutions to publicly commit to phase-out their support for coal and follow the EIB’s lead. We are concerned that despite pledges made by World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to renounce coal, they might be preparing to invest in a highly controversial new lignite plant in Kosovo – locking this small country into a carbon intensive energy path for decades.”
(1) The new EIB energy policy voted last July applies an Emission Performance Standard of 550 g CO2/kWh for all fossil fuel power plants. The emissions’ level of the Ptolemaida-5 plant would be approximately 1000 g CO2/kWh, twice the permitted threshold. In addition the region of Western Macedonia, where the project would be built, does not fall within the isolated energy systems category that can benefit an EPS exemption in the EIB energy policy.
(2) According to a report prepared by WWF Greece, Ptolemaida-5 would prove to be unprofitable and might even produce negative cash flows under certain scenarios. For more information see WWF Greece, “Investments with no future: an examination of the economic viability of two new lignite plants in Greece”, July 2013