FRANKFURT, April 16 (Reuters) - Uniper is seeking
a court ruling on whether plans by the Netherlands to shut all
coal-fired power plants in the country are legal, the
German-based utility said on Friday.
Under the Dutch plans, Uniper's 1.07 gigawatt (GW)
Maasvlakte MPP 3 plant must close by Jan. 1, 2030, about 15
years after it was opened.
"Uniper has consistently expressed its concerns to the
ministry and members of Parliament and the Senate about the fact
that the law is lacking sufficient compensation," Uniper said.
"In Uniper's view, this law is unbalanced as Uniper cannot
execute its ownership rights, but is also not compensated."
The Dutch government said in 2018 it would ban the use of
coal in electricity generation in this decade, shutting all
coal-fired plants by 2030.
Economy minister Bas van 't Wout said on Friday all
interests involved had been carefully weighed in the law, which
gives owners of coal-fired plants the option of switching to
more sustainable types of fuel before the end of the decade.
Owners also should have considered the possible end of coal
in the Netherlands, he wrote in a letter to parliament, as the
need to cut greenhouse gas emissions has been clear for a long
Finland's Fortum, Uniper's majority owner since
early 2020, told Reuters the decision did not mean the company
would oppose ending coal combustion, but rather fulfils its duty
"It is the fiduciary duty of the management to seek to
obtain legal certainty on whether it is justified to leave a
plant that is being prematurely closed without compensation",
Esa Hyvarinen, head of the office of Fortum's CEO, said.
Uniper's decision to seek a court ruling come after larger
peer RWE in February filed a lawsuit to seek
compensation from the Dutch government for the planned shutdown
of its 1.56 GW Eemshaven plant.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz, Tom Kaeckenhoff, Essi Lehto and
Bart Meijer; Editing by Caroline Copley and David Holmes)