Spain activates coal-fired power station forced by energy crisis and cold wave

by Lorraine Williamson


A CORUÑA – Endesa restarts activities at the Pontes thermal power station in A Coruña, Spain. The power station uses 140,000 tons of coal. The company assures that the closure plans will continue and that it is an “exceptional and temporary measure”. 

The coal-fired power plant was re-activated on Monday morning,. This was scheduled with one of four groups of generators. And was done as a result of the boom in electricity prices and the expected temperature drops for this week. This will, therefore, increase energy consumption. 

The factory, which has been closed since the end of 2019, will be operational at least until next Friday. As such, the operation of the factory is scheduled on a weekly basis. In order to be able to operate, the electricity company has 140,000 tons of coal at its disposal. Part of it is located on the complex of the power plant and another part is in the outer harbour of Ferol and will be transported by road during these days. 

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Doesn’t change the aim to close coal-fired power stations 

The plant’s director, Ignacio Sáinz, said it is “an exceptional start” and “it is due to the unique market conditions we are currently experiencing and that does not change Endesa’s commitment to shut down the coal plants”. 

Needless to say, he added that “the administrative approval process for closure is being maintained, all within the company’s decarbonisation goals and because of the plant’s lack of competitiveness in recent years.” 

Around 140 employees

Currently, it is one of the groups that is in operation. Sáinz explained that “out of four generator sets, totalling 1,400 megawatts, only two would be able to meet current legal emissions limits.” In addition, the coal-fired power plant is operated by “about 70 employees and a similar number of employees from outside companies,” he added. 

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