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Environment

Vattenfall Invests More in Coal

Publicerat måndag 21 juni 2010 kl 14.53
Vattenfall head office

Despite demands from Swedish environmentalists that Sweden's state-owned energy company Vattenfall should spend more on alternative energy, the company has announced it plans to invest nearly two billion U.S. dollars in coal-fueled energy production at its Boxberg plant in Eastern Germany.

The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports that the expansion will include four new turbines - boosting carbon dioxide emissions from 15 to almost 20 million tons a year.

The Swedish company will also open a mine to deliver brown coal to the Boxberg plant. Environmental organizations maintain that brown coal lies at the top of climate-damaging energy sources.

Dagens Nyheter quotes the head of Vattenfall Europe saying he agrees that brown coal is an environmental problem - but he defends the company's decision insisting that the company is also investing in renewable energy.

Just last week, Vattenfall bought 20 percent of the company, Buchanan Renewables Fuel in Liberia.

The Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri also reports that Vattenfall had hopes of building a giant off-shore wind energy project off the Dutch coast - but that the plans have been rejected by the Netherlands' government.

Vattenfall established itself in Germany nine years ago and has four plants there.

Dagens Nyheter maintains that there are mixed feelings among the Germans over the expansion of the Boxberg plant. Some insist that the company creates jobs and that the region would be worse off without the new investments.

Others argue that the increased clouds of pollution will kill century-old trees - but that little can be done to stop what they call "David's fight against Goliath."

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