The ban on the import of Russian coal will seriously harm the Netherlands

The ban on the import of Russian coal will seriously harm the Netherlands

The European Commission announced on Tuesday that it aims to import ban for Russian coal. That should become part of a larger package of new sanctions, which should also include bans on transactions on four other Russian banks. According to the head of Ursula von der Leyen, the oil import ban is still being studied.

‘Fully Certified’ on Russian Coal

A new set of sanctions can only be implemented if all member states unanimously agree to them. It didn’t happen on Wednesday evening.

The Netherlands is “highly dependent” on Russian coal and oil, says Margoleen Garsma, an economist at the Dutch Statistics Office. In 2020, 43 percent of the coal and lignite imported by the Netherlands for its own use came from Russia, or 3.3 billion kilograms. For crude oil, this percentage is 29 percent, and for petroleum products such as gasoline, it is 14 percent.

There are a large number of coal consumers in the Netherlands. Tata Steel in IJmuiden is one of the biggest, but that company says it no longer burns coal from Russia.

get rid of

Coal is also widely used in the Netherlands for power generation. In 2021, the Netherlands imported 8.7 billion kilograms of coal, obviously from CBS Provisional Numbers. About 4.8 billion kilograms of this were used to produce electricity. This was done via four coal-fired power plants that are still operating in the Netherlands.

All Dutch coal-fired power plants should be phased out by 2030. Until then, they can go on an annual basis 35 percent max of its ability.

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“Don’t say too much about her.”

The Amer power plant, which already runs largely on biomass, and the Emshavn power plant are owned by RWE. Uniper has a power plant in Maasvlakte, as does the Onyx Power Plant. This last power plant will already be closed, but the owner, American investor Riverstone, has done it closure plan withdrawn.

RWE and Uniper both get a (large) portion of their coal from Russia. At RWE it’s 73 percent, at Uniper 30 percent. RWE spokesperson Adriaan van der Marel doesn’t want to say much about Russian coal consumption in the Netherlands. “At least in the past we got coal from Russia, or at the moment we won’t talk much about it.”

In Uniper they are more common. “We already get coal from Russia,” spokeswoman Iris Olivier said. “But we will not renew those contracts anymore when they expire at the end of this year. Of course we are now starting to look for other suppliers, which has made some effort, but we are not worried about security of supply.”

Russian coal recharge

The Netherlands not only gets a lot of coal from Russia for its own use, but also for re-export. For example in the port of Rotterdam, where EMO and EECV transshipment companies store and transport millions of kilograms of coal. EMO does not want to say anything about the share of Russian coal in transshipment activities and whether it will be affected by a penalty for importing coal.

EECV is owned by German steel giants ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG and Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann GmbH. This is where the coal processed via this transshipment company goes. The EECV was unable to immediately respond to RTL Z’s questions.

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