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Monday, 31 March 2014 16:30

RWE adheres to planned continuation of Garzweiler opencast mine

In its statement, the North-Rhine Westphalian government clearly confirmed the necessity, from an energy policy perspective, to complete the 3rd resettlement segment of the Garzweiler II opencast mine. RWE adheres to the planned development of the opencast mine in accordance with the mining boundaries approved. This includes RWE’s official commitment to the complete realisation of the 3rd resettlement segment given within the process of the upcoming licencing procedure, Caspian Energy News (www.caspianenergy.net) reports with reference to the press service of RWE.

The company had confirmed this to the state government and the city of Erkelenz, thereby strongly opposing speculations about an early end of the Garzweiler opencast mine. Additional steps concerning the planned 4th resettlement segment must be initiated subsequently, according to the staged approval procedure.

“We consider it vital to give the people in the region who are affected by the resettlement and politicians a maximum of certainty with regard to our corporate plans. For this purpose, we have a clear and unambiguous position on lignite,” said Matthias Hartung, Chief Executive Officer of RWE Power AG.

The fact that the state government is questioning the long-term prospects of the Garzweiler opencast mine is incomprehensible from RWE’s perspective. “If the state government intends to initiate a new lead decision for the 4th resettlement segment, then we consider this a sensible move. At the same time, the outcome of such a process must be open-ended and not involve any premature decisions,” said Peter Terium, Chief Executive Officer of RWE AG. “We believe it is wrong to define goals at this stage, which question the mining boundaries for Garzweiler.”

RWE is convinced that lignite can make an important contribution to security of supply until the mid-century. State-of-the-art and flexible power plants are indispensable partners for renewable energies, particularly in times of changing energy markets. As an indigenous, non-subsidised energy source, lignite can ensure cost-efficient electricity production, thereby helping secure Germany’s position as an attractive location for industry. Especially today, lignite plays an important role in reducing geopolitical risks associated with the import of energy resources. In the long run, it also provides options for other applications.

The entire value created by the lignite mining industry – from production to refining and electricity generation – remains in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia. This implies value added and contracts for the local industry ranging in the billions, as well as security for approx. 35,000 jobs in the state.

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