IIDMA achieves a 50% reduction in the emissions authorized for the Ibiza Thermal Power Plant

  • The plant’s Environmental Authorization had been updated in February, with NOx emission limits much higher than those allowed by European legislation.
  • Second success for IIDMA in the Balearic Islands in less than a year.

Last February 17th the Plenary of the Environmental Commission of the Balearic Islands published a revision of the Integrated Environmental Authorization of the Ibiza Thermal Power Plant (owned by Gas y Electricidad Generación) in the Balearic Islands Official Gazette. The purpose of this revision was to adapt its contents to the BREF regulations for large combustion facilities. However, a new authorization was approved with emission limits for nitrogen oxides (NOx) much higher than those allowed in Europe. Once this anomaly was detected, the International Institute for Law and the Environment (IIDMA) filed an appeal which has just been upheld and as a result, the emission limits have been reduced by nearly 50%.

The NOx emission limit value initially authorized an annual average of 90 mg/Nm3 and a daily average of 100mg/Nm3. Thanks to the appeal filed by IIDMA, the annual average limit is now 50 mg/Nm3 with the daily average limit set at 55 mg/Nm3. These measures now comply with the BREF regulation which was being violated according to IIDMA’s appeal.

Additionally, the monthly and hourly average limits have been reduced from 90 to 50 mg/Nm3 and 180 to 100 mg/Nm3 respectively, thus ensuring compliance with EU Directive 75/2010 on industrial emissions.

“Nitrogen oxides constitute the main atmospheric pollutant emitted by gas-fired thermal power plants. They contribute to the generating of acid rain and have very harmful effects on human health and the environment. Therefore, ensuring compliance with environmental regulations governing these emissions is a matter of crucial importance,” said Massimiliano Patierno, environmental engineer at IIDMA.

Second succes for IIDMA in the Balearic islands in less than a year 

The modification of the agreement regarding the Ibiza Thermal Power Plant is the second success achieved by IIDMA in the Balearic Islands in less than a year. The first was reached in in October 2021 when the island’s government also upheld an appeal requesting the reduction of authorized NOx emissions at the Son Reus Thermal Power Plant in Palma de Mallorca.

On that occasion, the Plenary of the Environment Commission had authorized emission limits for the Son Reus Thermal Power Plant which, according to European regulations, would correspond to a plant with thermal power of less than 600 MW. In the appeal, IIDMA argued that this plant has higher power potential and therefore, its authorized emissions should be more restrictive. Despite the grounds provided by Endea, the owner of the plant, the Commission agreed with IIDMA and lowered the NOx limits on their Environmental Authorization for the Palma plant.