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the Saint-Avold coal-fired energy plant will restart

Six months after its shutdown, the Emile Huchet thermal energy plant in Saint Avold in Moselle is getting ready to relaunch its coal unit originally of October 2022, actually on Monday 3. Owned by the personal group Gazelenergie, it responds to the federal government’s request to extend electrical energy manufacturing in France. What does it price?

France is dealing with a posh power disaster. First, a part of the nuclear fleet is shut down, to satisfy upkeep schedules or due to corrosion issues on the cooling circuits. Then again, the provision of Russian gasoline is in sharp decline, and it obliges the State to diversify its sources as a matter of urgency.

And even to fireside any wooden: the restart of the coal part of the Emile Huchet energy plant in Moselle was introduced on June 26 by the Ministry of Ecological Transition. The operational resumption date has been set for 1er October by the industrialist who owns the plant, Gazelenergie, however based on our sources, it’s somewhat on Monday, October 3 that the plant will be capable to produce electrical energy once more with coal.

Formally, we’re advised that we’ll solely be filming till March 31, 2023, but when we’re to proceed yet another winter, we’ll want further expertise

Jean-Pierre Damm

Commerce union consultant FO Gazelenergie

To permit the return of electrical energy manufacturing, the plant should import coal… which is able to now not come from Russia, even when there may be nonetheless a inventory of 20,000 tonnes on website based on Jean-Michel Mazalerat, the president of Gazelenergie, quoted by our colleagues from the Republican Lorrain. The unit consumes between 5,000 and 6,000 tonnes of coal per day, which may even come from Colombia, Australia and Kazakhstan.

With an influence of 600 MW (Megawatt) Emile Huchet represented, when it stopped in March 2022, lower than 1% of French electrical energy manufacturing. The coal slice covers a 3rd of the consumption of households within the Grand Est based on Jean-Michel Mazalerat, quoted by our colleagues.

Substantial bonuses, of the order of 4,000 to five,000 euros monthly along with their wage, have been promised to staff who conform to return to work within the plant. These extraordinary bonuses have been obtained as a result of the Gazelenergie group ought to, based on our sources, earn 150 million euros with this restart.

In line with Pressure Ouvrière, the bulk union on the location, 68 staff are at present current to work on the restart. There have been 87 of them on March 31, 2022. Jean-Pierre Damm, union consultant and elected member of the Gazelenergie CSE, believes that the corporate ought to already be coaching staff with a view to winter 2023: “formally, we’re advised that we’ll solely be filming till March 31, 2023, but when we’re going to proceed one other winter, we’ll want further expertise. The fifty staff who agreed to return are between 55 and 60 years outdated, they won’t all want to lengthen“.

The location to restart the amenities would have already price ten million euros. Jean-Pierre Damm (FO) is assured: “even whether it is estimated that the shutdown didn’t happen in the perfect situations, the upkeep work, aided by subcontracting firms, is continuing accurately“. It confirms that the power-up has not but been examined up to now: “there could also be issues on restart, as we frequently expertise, particularly after a six-month shutdown, it isn’t sure that we’ll attain full energy within the first week“.

Restarting a stopped instrument, even for just a few months, is an industrial problem. As proof, neighboring Germany has all the difficulty on the planet to relaunch its coal-fired energy stations. Additional impacted by the scarcity of Russian gasoline, the nation has undertaken to place 27 coal-fired energy stations again into operation, based on France 24, however just one has truly restarted: primarily attributable to an absence of personnel, but in addition due to the dilapidated state of the installations that are now not maintained and deteriorate in a short time.

The federal government led by Social Democrat Olaf Scholz believes it could make this restart appropriate with the exit from coal, which stays set for 2030 throughout the Rhine. Other than the Emile Huchet plant, France has one other plant in Loire-Atlantique, at Cordemais.

The spirit of the restart of Saint-Avold can also be supposed to be momentary, and couldn’t transcend this winter based on the French authorities. This makes the president of the group Les Ecologistes à la Région Grand Est bounce, Eliane Romani, whom we contacted by phone: “this resolution is a makeshift resolution that completely illustrates the federal government’s lack of anticipation and ambition by way of power coverage. We’d like extra of a sobriety plan, and of large improvement of renewable energies: France is the European nation which is the furthest behind on this space“.

The communication from the Gazelenergie group didn’t reply to our request for clarification on the situations for restarting the Saint Avold plant.

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