Entrepreneur Luc Tack has advanced plans with his chemical company Tessenderlo to build a second gas-fired power station. The project must supply power when the nuclear power plants close in 2025.
The listed chemical company Tessenderlo Group
presents itself as a new candidate to build a gas-fired power plant. The company has requested an environmental impact report for the construction of a second large gas-fired power plant on the site in Tessenderlo. It wants to compete for the subsidies that are in the making for the construction of new capacity. With T-Power, Tessenderlo already has a gas-fired power station of 425 megawatts to provide for its own electricity needs. Due to the planned closure of the nuclear power plants, Tessenderlo sees potential on the same site to build a second much larger gas power plant of 900 megawatts, almost the equivalent of a large nuclear power plant.
Entrepreneur Luc Tack, who owns a majority of the voting rights in Tessenderlo, is increasingly emerging as a player in the Belgian energy market. This is not surprising. The company founded the subsidiary Tessenderlo Development Services last year with the aim of developing energy projects at its various sites.
We will only build this new power plant if we can realize a profitable project at an acceptable risk.
In addition to the Schoonhees industrial estate in Tessenderlo, it was also considered to build a gas-fired power station on the Tessenderlo Chemie site in Ham and one at the gelatin factory in Vilvoorde. But in both areas, it would take too long to complete a project by 2025, when the nuclear power plants close. The site in Tessenderlo can yield cost savings through synergies with the gas-fired power plant that is already there. There is also still room to install an installation that will contain CO2 can catch.
Tessenderlo wants to compete with the new project for support via the CRM subsidy mechanism. The new De Croo government will allocate aid for the construction of gas-fired power stations in October next year. ‘We are preparing all relevant applications and will participate in the CRM tender,’ says Tessenderlo spokesperson Frederic Dryhoel in Het Belang van Limburg. ‘We will only build this new power station in Tessenderlo if we can realize a profitable project at an acceptable risk.’
Fight for subsidies erupts
Tessenderlo will face various competitors who are also trying to secure subsidies for the construction of gas-fired power stations.
Tessenderlo will face several competitors for the subsidies. Engie Electrabel is one of the main contenders, with a plan to invest 400 million euros in the construction of an 870 megawatt gas-fired power station in Vilvoorde. Luminus has similar ambitions in Seraing and Eneco is aiming for a plant of the same size in Seneffe in Hainaut. In addition, Dils-Energie is in the running with a project in Dilsen-Stokkem in Limburg.
The energy entrepreneur André Jurres, the former founder of Essent, announced in De Tijd on Wednesday that he is putting away his plans for the construction of a gas-fired power station in the port of Antwerp. The fact that the Vivaldi government is leaving the door ajar to decide at the end of 2021 that two nuclear power stations may remain open, made Jurres drop out. After being contacted by politicians, he has now announced that he will look at it again, but he thinks the uncertainty is too great. The fact that the European Commission has serious doubts about the support mechanism for gas-fired power stations does not help. Europe opened an in-depth investigation last week to verify that the system is not illegal state aid.
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