Industry opposed to nuclear phase-out by 2025
Three major federations of the Belgian heavy industry, Agoria, Essenscia and Febeliec are ringing the alarm bell on the governments intentions for a total nuclear phase-out by 2025. They want to keep open at least two nuclear power plants to save 600 million euro.
Agoria (tech federation), Essencia (chemical) and Feleliec (bulk consumers) react to the study proposed by national grid management company Elia, two weeks ago. In this study Elia depicts a future with renewable energy and extra gas power plants to compensate for closing down the nuclear plants in Doel (Antwerp) and Thiange (Liège).
Two youngest reactors
One of the scenario’s proposed by Elia is to keep open the two ‘youngest’ nuclear reactors, Doel 4 and Thiange 3 for an extended period to assure supply to bulk consumers like the chemical industry. Even then, there will be a need for new gas power plants too, but less.
The three federations are in favour of the latter solution, costing 600 million less then closing down everything by 2025. They react after the Flemish employers federation Voka sided with the Michel government’s point of view to stick with the plan for a complete phase-out.
Pressure on politics
Some of Voka’s members, like Antwerp BASF CEO Wouter De Geest are told to be furious. With their offensive the three federations want to set pressure on politics for more competitive electricity prices.
“As federation we are in principle technology neutral and we don’t make a choice for a specific energy source. But we are sensitive to the stability and cost effectiveness of the system. A total phase-out will cost 600 million more, which is something we can’t ignore”, says Peter Claes, CEO of Febeliec.
20% higher electricity price
Agoria is going one step further in its press release. “Nuclear phase out would increase electricity prices for companies and households by 20%”. Agoria warns for less investments in energy-hungry industries and large companies to disappear in the future.