February 5, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Final decision: Vilvoorde gas station will not get a permit, Tsinderloo will do

Final decision: Vilvoorde gas station will not get a permit, Tsinderloo will do

Engie/Electrabel can now finalize plans to build a gas-fired power plant in Vilford.

Engie/Electrabel has already received a close call about the 875MW gas-fired power plant in Vilford, mainly because the proposed power plant’s ammonia emissions were so high. Both Velmis Brabant County and Environment Minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) rejected the license application, as a result of which Vilford could not compete in the auction of subsidizing gas-fired and other electric power plants from 2025, the so-called CRM.

The company made a new request to cut ammonia emissions by 61 percent, but that too has now received a negative decision. “Although ammonia emissions were significantly reduced in both coils after the previous rejection of the coil, the technical review shows that Engy is not using BAT to minimize emissions,” Demir says. The lighter gas-fired power plant will emit more than the heavier Tessenderlo power plant, which uses the most innovative and best technology available.

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The gas-fired power plant in Tessenderlo, which has also faced rejection, will receive a permit. In the original coil, the 900 MW power plant would emit 344,000 kg of nitrogen oxides and 103,000 kg of ammonia. Thanks to the use of new technologies, this is now reduced to 298,000 kg of nitrogen oxides and 30,000 kg of ammonia, Demir says. This is a 70 percent reduction in ammonia emissions.

TDS, however, will be subject to a number of strict preconditions. For example, the company must ensure that it is climate-neutral by 2040 and will be tasked with achieving a total of 30 hectares of additional forest, of which 12 hectares are continuous within the first two years.

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“I always said I would evaluate files on their content and give responsibility,” Demir says. If I was sure that we would stay in the nuclear energy business, there would be no need for a permit and no additional permits were needed. Not even the ones in Tessenderlo. But Groen has expertly destroyed the nuclear power file, and the chances of a power outage have increased dramatically.

Engi reacts disappointedly and wants to thoroughly examine Minister Demir’s exact motive. Because the company believes it has sufficiently modified its original plans.