11/23/2021 at 12:00 CET
The As Pontes thermal power plant, the most powerful in all of Spain, burn coal again. Endesa started this Monday the “exceptional boot & rdquor; from its Coruña plant, for which the final closure is processed, due to “unique conditions & rdquor; that are taking place in the energy market. The company maintains its closure plans – in line with the mandate to decarbonize the economy to reduce CO2 emissions – but has decided to reactivate the thermal one in a timely manner before the arrival of the cold, which suggests an increase in energy demand , and in a context of rising electricity prices due to gas shortages, the fuel that is being used as backup (combined cycle power plants) instead of coal when generation from renewable sources is not enough.
The director of the plant, Ignacio Sainz, explained that the start of the operation was carried out “with one of the generator sets & rdquor; and, in any case, it stated that this fact “does not change the commitment to closing & rdquor; of coal plants of Endesa. In this way, Sainz pointed out that the electricity company “maintains the processing & rdquor; for the closure of the thermal facilities of As Pontes, a plan “framed in the objectives & rdquor; of the company. As justification, the manager also stressed the “lack of competitiveness of the center in recent years & rdquor ;, so that despite having 1,400 megawatts of total power (the largest of the Spanish thermal power plants)” only two & rdquor; of their groups “would be able to meet current emission limits & rdquor ;.
The direct operation of the thermal plant before the resumption of its activity is carried out by about 70 workers from its main campus and as many from auxiliary firms, about 140 in total.
The Xunta reacted on Monday to the news of the reactivation of the power station, reproaching the central government for its haste to close the thermal power plants. The Galician economic vice president, Francisco Conde, criticized that the closure of the coal plants was done “in a hasty manner & rdquor;.
The process of requesting closure of the As Pontes thermal power plant began two years ago and is awaiting confirmation from the Administration, pending environmental procedures.
In recent weeks, As Pontes has returned to stockpile coal. In October, the Endesa terminal at the outer port of Ferrol received the first shipment of ore in two years. The plant now has a reserve of 140,000 tons.