Portuguese electric utility EDP – Energias de Portugal SA (ELI:EDP) said it will move to close its coal-fired power plants in the Iberian peninsula in 2021.
The company is exploring green hydrogen, energy storage and conversion projects in their place.
The early closures of the 1,180-MW Sines plant in Portugal and Soto de Ribera 3 and Abono power stations in neighbouring Spain will bring around EUR 100 million (USD 113.7m) in extraordinary charges in 2020, the utility said on Monday.
EDP has initiated the process of closing Sines, its largest thermoelectric plant in Portugal, seeking to shut it down in January next year. The power plant, in operation for 35 years, will still generate electricity until the remaining coal stock is used up. After that, the company will proceed with the decommissioning and dismantling, EDP said.
The utility is now studying the possibility of developing a green hydrogen production project at Sines in consortium with other companies.
In Spain, EDP will request to close the 346-MW Soto de Ribera 3 coal-fired plant, which has not been producing power for more than a year. The site is now being considered for the development of an energy storage project.
At the Abono site, EDP is working on a project to convert the plant and replace coal with steel gases from 2022.
The group said the move is in line with its decarbonisation strategy, but highlighted that the high costs of coal-based generation have made the plants increasingly more expensive to keep in operation.
“Last year, we saw an inevitable reduction in the prospects for profitability of coal power plants, with the rising costs of CO2 emissions and more competitive prices for natural gas,” said newly-appointed acting CEO of EDP Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade.
EDP promises to fulfill its commitments to all its workers and support their training and professional integration, Stilwell added.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.137)
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