MADRID, 19 Ago. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has authorized the request to close the As Pontes thermoelectric plant (A Coruña), presented by the company that owns it, Endesa, and after the favorable report from Red Eléctrica de España (REE) on the compatibility of said closure with the security of supply of the electrical system, as reported by the ministry through a statement.
In a previous report, and in a context of "great tension" in the energy markets caused by the invasion of Ukraine, REE was already contemplating the closure of two groups of the plant, while the other two could be closed subject to availability of power.
Now, after the stabilization of these markets, REE has issued a new report that verifies the compatibility of the closure with the security of electricity supply, reports the ministry, which also indicates that the plans for the industrial reconversion of the area foresee an investment of more than 2,500 million euros and would generate more than 1,300 direct jobs.
In this sense, it recalls that support programs are being launched for "innovative" energy projects that have funds from the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, prioritizing in the tenders for actions those proposals located in areas with power plants in the process of being closed, such as that of As Pontes.
In this area, aid of 15 million euros has already been granted for the first phase of the EDP and Reganosa H2Pole project, which provides for the construction of a renewable hydrogen production plant, with an investment of 156 million and the creation of a hundred jobs _between direct and indirect_ in the exploitation phase, according to the department headed by Teresa Ribera.
Municipal projects are also being supported, such as the development of a logistics center in the Penapurreira industrial estate, in As Pontes, which provides services to companies with storage problems and road transport affected by the closure of the plant, awarded to through a call in 2021.
In addition, through the call for aid for environmental, social and digital infrastructures, 6.8 million have been granted to another 11 projects. Thus, Moeche will develop a Center for Economic and Social Development hand in hand with local associations; As Somozas will rehabilitate the old municipal schools for social housing and socio-community equipment; Cabanas will create a co-working space for entrepreneurs and micro-businesses, and Cerdido, Mañón, San Sadurniño, Ortigueira, Vilalba and Xermade will develop various projects.
Along the same lines, with the aim of boosting job creation in the area, the Government has launched calls for aid for business investment projects endowed with 50 million euros, currently in the application assessment phase.
To these ministry management aids are added the 111 million euros contributed by the European Union Just Transition Fund to the Xunta de Galicia to mitigate the impacts of the closures of As Pontes and Meirama.
At the same time, in April 2020, the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge promoted and signed the agreement for a fair energy transition for closing thermal power plants with the unions and the owner companies in which the agents involved are required to give for the conversion of affected areas. In compliance with this agreement, Endesa has given a commitment to promote conversion projects that it estimates will result in an investment of 2,682 million and more than 1,300 new direct jobs.
In this way, Sentury Tire will install a tire factory on the land of the old mine. With an investment of 477 million, the company plans to create 750 jobs and boost the volume of traffic at the Port of Ferrol. Likewise, Ence will locate a biofuel, bio-products and special cellulose factory, with an investment of some 380 million, generating 150 direct jobs, and almost a thousand adding indirect and induced jobs.
Along with these industrial initiatives, Endesa has undertaken to give a logistics boost to the Port of Ferrol terminal, to create a logistics center, to promote a green hydrogen project, to materialize a training plan for people in the area and to prioritize direct and auxiliary workers of the plant in the formation, dismantling and new developments in the area.