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ČEZ Group to cut brown coal power plants’ emissions

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Chomutov, North Bohemia, Oct 11 (CTK) – The CEZ Group, the Czech largest energy utility, has invested 100 billion crowns in the second wave of greening of North Bohemia’s brown coal power plants, Ota Schnepp, the CEZ spokesman for North and Central Bohemia, told CTK on Wednesday.

Although all of the plants operate within the EU environmental limits, they remain the biggest sources of air pollution.

“Power plants will always rate at the top positions among air pollution sources, as even after they decrease emissions to an absolute minimum, they will still be the biggest production giants,” Schnepp said.

Compared to the early 1990s, emissions have been decreased by 92 percent for sulphur dioxide (SO2), by 95 percent for solid particles, by 50 percent for nitrogen oxides (NOx) and by 77 percent for carbon monoxide (CO), Schnepp said.

In the next years, all measurable emissions will drop by another 50 percent thanks to the investments within the second stage of greening, owing to the completely restored Tusimice and Prunerov 2 plants and the newly built plant in Ledvice, among other investments, he said.

The long-term strategy of CEZ is to achieve a carbon neutral energy production by 2050. In the past decade, CEZ has invested over five billion euros in low carbon technologies.

Some coal-fired blocs will be shut by 2020 due to the end of their life-cycle and stricter emission limits, Schnepp said.

“There is a plan on the termination of operation, naturally, but in response to the development of the market, it has been changing as regards the time of the termination, hence I will not comment on it until a final decision on the termination of a specific bloc’s operation has been issued,” he said.

The modernised Tusimice and Prunerov plants depend on coal from the Tusimice coal mines, therefore they will operate for as long as the mines are operating, with 25 years being the guaranteed operation span, he added.

The life cycle of the new, highly environment-friendly plant in Ledvice is about 40 years, which covers the whole estimated remaining life of the Bilina mine supplying coal to it, Schnepp said.

Schnepp said the life cycle of the Pocerady plant cannot be anticipated. It would end in the 2020s, but if modernised, it could serve for another 20 years.

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