Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reiterated on Wednesday the pledge he first made at the UN Climate Change Summit in New York in September, to phase out lignite-firing power plants by 2028.
Speaking at the ceremony celebrating the construction of a new natural gas-fired power plant, the PM said that his government is firmly committed to the “green” agenda, and demonstrates it by both their declarations and their actions, in Greece and abroad.
The plant, belonging to the Athens-listed group Mytilineos is located at the company’s Energy Center in Aghios Nikolaos in Viotia, north of Athens. It is expected to be operational by the last quarter of 2021.
The projected investment will come to 300 million euros and Mytilineos will draw mainly from the local workforce pool to staff the plant, as is its standard practice. With the addition of this unit, the company’ total production capacity will exceed 2,000 megawatts per year.
Mitsotakis said the plant would leave a minimal environmental footprint, and it is an investment compatible with the three central government tenets regarding electricity generation.
These include the replacement of lignite with more environmentally-sensitive forms of production and the liberalization of the energy market, a move that, according to the government, will create jobs and reduce electricity prices.
Another governmental guideline is that Greece should limit the economic “bleeding” caused by the importing of electricity from neighboring countries.
Mitsotakis also noted his cabinet’s decision to set up a National Council on Energy and Climate with the primary objective of organizing, developing and monitoring the country’s transition to the new “green” reality by 2030.
His government’s strategy is to phase out lignite units by 2028, a highly ambitious target for a lignite-producing country, the prime minister noted, while comparing his own plan with the program Germany has for the year 2038.
“But we are much more ambitious,” Mitsotakis asserted.