Greenpeace bids to buy Vattenfall lignite mine

2015-10-20 16:14

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Berlin - Greenpeace submitted a bid on Tuesday to buy a lignite mine in eastern Germany from Swedish power company Vattenfall, the environmental organization's Nordic branch announced.

However, based on its calculations of the difference between what the remaining lignite reserves in the region of Lusatia are worth and what it will cost to pull down the power station and convert the land back to its natural state, Greenpeace is offering a "negative price."

Effectively, Greenpeace is asking Vattenfall to pay for the organization to take the lignite mine off its hands.

While the cash value of the reserves is around half a billion euros, Greenpeace Nordic said there would be a shortfall of more than €2bn if it took on the mine.

Greenpeace said in its statement of interest it will turn Vattenfall's coal division into a "foundation under German civil law" and phase out energy production from coal by 2030.

Greenpeace hopes to win over both the German and Swedish governments to its cause, as well as the state governments of Brandenburg and Saxony in eastern Germany.

"If Europe wants to meet its climate targets, the coal has to remain in the ground," Swedish Greenpeace manager Annika Jacobson said.

Vattenfall declined to comment on the Greenpeace bid. "Every company sale is a confidential process," it told dpa via Twitter.

Sceptics think that Greenpeace stands only a small chance of acquiring the lignite mine. Some even spoke of a "PR stunt."

Two Czech companies have also said they are interested in the mine.

Swedish Vattenfall is a state-owned company and has been planning to sell its lignite-mining operations in Lusatia for a while. It owns five mines and three coal-fired power stations in Brandenburg and Saxony.

Read more on:    greenpeace  |  sweden  |  germany  |  environment

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