Demers’ refusal to obtain a permit for the gas-fired power plant in Vilford sparked political sentiment. Now that this decision was actually made on October 29, and Demir said nothing about it to her fellow ministers in the Flemish government, the case is causing a rift in the majority and with the federal government.
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Vooruit President Conner Rousseau spoke of “sabotage,” and called on CD&V chair Joachim Coens to bring the decision to an advisory committee where the different governments sit together. Queens previously responded to Radio 1: “The feud between the Federal and Flemish governments is not working.”
Federal Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen) has criticized the date of the documents in Parliament today: October 29. And that date is remarkable, because Inge Elektrabel, who received the subsidies on Oct. 31, was still on track for federal subsidies to ensure power supplies through the gas-fired power plant in Vilford.
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The Vilford power plant is one of two projects selected in CRM auctions. The CRM system should enable Belgium to have sufficient electricity supply capacity to ensure the security of supply in our country upon phasing out nuclear power in 2025. As for nuclear exit, Demir thus made the decision opposite to what is necessary.
Van der Straeten was ferocious in the lower house: “I am implementing the nuclear exit decided by the previous federal government, which was also supported by the N-VA. This is not a ‘backroom policy’ dossier.” Furthermore, van der Straiten denounces that “all elements of the file were positive”. “Competent management is also positive in all areas,” Van der Straeten adds.
Permit for a gas plant in Windelgim, despite poor paperwork
The Wondelgem power plant, which has not yet participated in the support mechanism for gas-fired power plants and other electrical capacities needed to accommodate the phase-out of nuclear power in 2025, will receive a permit.
Comparing the profiles of the gas-fired power plants in Wondelgem and Vilvoorde shows that the Wondelgem power plant, which has already received a permit, emits more nitrogen oxides than the Vilvoorde power plant, which has not received one.
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Advice from the Regional Environmental Permits Committee, which includes experts from the Flemish administration, also notes that it does not agree with the way Demir handled previous permits for a gas-fired power plant in Tessenderloo, using similar arguments as Vilford. .
Flemish environmental regulations oblige gas-fired power plants to take measures to keep nitrogen oxide emissions as low as possible. But the so-called SCR technology also releases ammonia, another substance that can affect nature. For experts, this is collateral damage. For Demir, the high ammonia emissions are a reason to refuse the permit.