Uniper seeks judgement over Maasvlakte shutdown

20 April 2021

Uniper’s coal fired power station MPP3 located at Maasvlakte, near Rotterdam, was officially opened in 2016. It is described by Uniper as “highly efficient” and technologically able to meet the highest standards. However the Dutch government’s Coal Prohibition Act puts an end to the use of coal for the production of electricity by 1st of January 2030, which means a forced closure after only fifteen years of operation without any compensation. 

Conversion of MPP3, says Uniper, is unrealistic, and the company has repeatedly expressed its concerns to the ministry and members of Parliament and the Senate about the fact that the law does not provide for sufficient compensation. In Uniper’s view, this law is balanced against Uniper which cannot execute its ownership rights, but is also not compensated. 

In the interest of its customers and employees Uniper is now seeking a judgement from independent courts, questioning whether the law is legitimate in view of this lacking compensation.

Uniper has issued a statement to the effect that it endorses the Dutch climate goals and wants to contribute to reduction of CO2 emissions. This is also in line with Uniper’s corporate strategy. Uniper is willing to continue to contribute, also in the Netherlands, to the energy transition, especially Uniper’s Maasvlakte location is uniquely situated to accelerate this transition. Therefore, Uniper is keen to continue with its constructive discussions with the government and other stakeholders about future steam supply and residuals solutions, the production of green hydrogen and further options for CO2 reduction. This would allow for a transition towards a sustainable energy eco system at Maasvlakte, facilitating Uniper’s existing and potentially additional industrial customers. For a sustainable future, clarity and a stable political framework will be crucial as it will enable the next steps into the transition.

David Bryson, COO Uniper SE: "Uniper is committed to turn our European Generation business carbon neutral by 2035. While moving away from coal we are developing a wide range of sustainable alternatives. In our view the Uniper location at Maasvlakte is the perfect place for large-scale production of green hydrogen which would contribute significantly to the overall Dutch hydrogen targets. We sincerely hope that we can develop an acceptable solution in order to accelerate our transition ambitions."

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