Galați, 5th of October 2012 - Greenpeace released a report about the hidden costs of the coal fired power plant project of Enel, in terms of health and environment.
The event was supported by the powerful image of a 40m long airship displaying the messages „Enel - climate killer” and „Enel threatens Galati with 40 years of pollution”.
The hidden costs, estimated at 250 million euro per year – 9 billion euro by the end of the 40 years of operation – will not be covered by Enel, nor included in the price of energy the power plant will sell on the energy market. Instead, the burden of these costs will fall on the shoulders of people, in various shapes, building on the budget of every household for the following 40 years.
According to the report, the air pollution caused by the power plant will cause about 45000 days of sickness every year and also 40 cases of premature death.
“Because of the tall chimneys, about 50% of the effects of air pollution caused by the power plant during the 40 years of operation will happen on a radius of 200 km. This means that besides Galati, many other Romanian towns and cities will be affected, including the big cities of Iasi, Bacau, Constanta and Bucharest, the capital city of Romania.” says Ionut Cepraga, energy campaigner with Greenpeace Romania.
“The power plant will not benefit the Romanian society in terms of economy either, because Enel chose to place the power plant in the tax free zone of Galati (the city neighbours the Danube river), so as it will avoid paying taxes for the imports of coal. The power plant is supposed to burn coal imported from Ukraine. Thus, millions of tons of coal will be shipped over Danube for 40 years. Also, the power plant’s cooling system will pour large amounts of very hot water into the river. Moreover, the ash storage of the plant involves an immense open pile of ash and slag displayed on the ground, in the way of wind, rain and other weather phenomena over the years. Enel plans to do this things to the Danube river just tens of kilometres upstream of Europe’s unique biodiversity spot of Danube Delta.” adds Ionut Cepraga.
According to the European Environment Agency, in 2009 the air polluting emissions from Romania’s industrial facilities – the sixth big polluter in Europe – have generated external costs between 4.7 - 10.3 billion euro, meaning mostly health and environment costs. The energy sector was responsible for 80% of these costs.
Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.