Italian coal mine to stay open
London, 3 September (Argus) — Workers at a Sardinian coal mine have abandoned a week-long protest after the regional government pledged to keep the mine open.
After a meeting on 31 August attended by the EU's commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship Antonio Tajani, the president of the Sardinian region Ugo Cappellacci vowed that the mine would not close, while the Italian industry ministry said the project will be reviewed to “update it” and to make it “compatible with the latest technologies and economically sustainable”.
Around 100 miners staged a protest at the Nuraxi Figus mine last week against threats to close the historically unprofitable project at the end of this year. Italian firm Carbosulcis holds a licence to operate the mine as well as develop a gas-fired power plant and carbon capture and storage facility on the site, but the development would rely on EU and Italian funding.
Nuraxi Figus is Italy's only producing coal mine, and produces 300,000 t/yr of high-sulphur, high-ash coal. All of the output is supplied to the 240MW Sulcis power plant in Sardinia, which is operated by Italian utility Enel. The country's 12 other coal-fired plants are fuelled exclusively by imported coal.
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