Endesa sends the request for the closure of As Pontes and Litoral coal plants to the Government

Endesa confirmed in a statement on 27 December 2019 the submission of the requests for the closure of the As Pontes (Galicia) and Litoral (Andalucía) plants to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition, as asked by IIDMA in October.

The company has argued that the main reasons for submitting these requests are the “profound change of market conditions due to the increase in the price of CO2 rights and the significant fall in the price of gas”. Therefore, according to the company, these coal-fired plants are no longer profitable.

Ana Barreira, director of IIDMA, said: “As part of our program to fight climate change, in 2015 IIDMA began working to promote the closure of coal-fired power plants in Spain. Therefore, the confirmation of the closure plans for the As Pontes and Litoral power plants once again proves us right. The company’s failure to take into account the risks of climate change, such as the risks of transition due to the increase in the price of emission rights, have led Endesa to take this decision without prior planning. Last October, IIDMA asked Endesa to present an official request for closure to support the of the Significant Event of September 27th, notified to the CNMV (the Spanish National Securities Market Commission), which announced that the Board had approved “promoting the discontinuation of the production of its coal-fired power plants in the Peninsula”, but the closures had been not confirmed so far. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, IIDMA attended the AGMs of ENEL, Endesa’s main shareholder, to discuss the need to plan the closure of the Spanish coal-fired power plants. In 2019, we also attended the Endesa AGM. However, the company has always maintained an ambiguous position on this issue.

Endesa’s commitment to convert the plants into renewable energy-based electricity generation plants is to be commended, otherwise its commitments presented during COP25 would be called into question.

This request is a necessary step in Spain’s energy transition, and the Ministry must now speed up the process of approving the dismantling of the plant and guaranteeing the economic reconversion of the region. Likewise, the rest of the coal companies, in addition to banks and financial institutions, must follow the example: investment and development of energy produced with coal is no longer profitable, it is necessary for financial flows to be redirected to more sustainable sectors. To achieve this goal, it is essential that companies are transparent about their climate risks.

*Pictured, IIDMA spokespersons at the Enel AGM asking the Board about the company’s climate policy and future plans for coal-fired power plants.

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