Romania will have to give up the use of coal for energy production after 2025, given that it is quite likely that the Brussels authorities will not approve the restructuring plan of the Oltenia Energy Complex in time for the payment of emission certificates without penalties, according to a statement from the environmental organization Greenpeace. On February 5, the European Commission announced the opening of an in-depth investigation into state aid for the restructuring of the Oltenia Energy Complex (CEO).
“This is not good news, although the responsible authorities (Ministry of Energy, Competition Council) and the company have tried to downplay the importance of the European investigation, classifying it as a normal stage of the analysis process. In reality, the authorities adopt the impassive face of a poker player that is forced to give up a card to stay in the game. As recently announced by the Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, on this card thrown is written coal,” Greenpeace says, according to Agerpres.
According to the environmental organization, the launch of a detailed analysis of State aid indicates that there are serious doubts on the part of the Commission about the compatibility between State aid and the internal market. In order for state aid to be approved, the Romanian authorities must make substantial changes to the original plan (the most plausible hypothesis) or, alternatively, and unlikely, bring solid counter-arguments to meet the European Commission’s objections.
Otherwise, the Commission will prohibit the implementation of the restructuring plan proposed by the CEO, qualifying it as incompatible state aid.
The consequences for the CEO can be disastrous, unfortunately with repercussions for the entire Gorj county. About 36,000 people and their families have a job directly or indirectly related to the company’s business.
“The reassuring statements made by Romanian officials are not exactly accurate: the vast majority of state aid cases are, in fact, closed without objections in two months. However, for cases of great complexity, the in-depth investigation is the procedure approached. EC will publish, most likely in the coming weeks, the decision and the motivation to start the investigation, followed by the 30 – day period in which all interested parties can submit comments,” added Greenpeace.