The post-coal period remains to be unclear for workers of the final two energy crops in service in France | EUROtoday

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Between Paris and Brussels, on the way in which to the European elections on June 9, some take a detour by way of the coal-fired energy station of Saint-Avold (Moselle). On Wednesday May 29, the location acquired a go to from Marine Tondelier, nationwide secretary of Europe Ecologie-Les Verts. On May 24, it was François-Xavier Bellamy, head of the listing for Les Républicains.

Read additionally: Article reserved for our subscribers In Saint-Avold, we’re restarting the coal-fired energy station to keep away from energy cuts this winter

By inviting them, the commerce union organizations needed to boost consciousness concerning the threatened way forward for the location, notably post-coal. Conversely, they didn’t invite Jordan Bardella (National Rally) on May 7. The far-right candidate nonetheless got here, on the sidelines of a gathering within the city.

In Saint-Avold, as in Cordemais (Loire-Atlantique), staff of the final two coal-fired energy stations in France are anxious concerning the reconversion of their industrial web site. They criticize the State for leaving them at nighttime, a number of months after Emmanuel Macron's final announcement. Since September 2023, the President of the Republic has promised that the 2 energy crops will likely be ” completely ” transformed to biomass by 2027renewable power, for instance based mostly on wooden. At the beginning of his first time period, he had set in… 2022 the tip of coal, dangerous to the local weather.

How to reconcile power transition and job preservation? For each of those websites, the target appears delicate. “Macron, the disillusionment of coal” : the banner was deployed throughout a mobilization, originally of May, in entrance of the Moselle prefecture, in Metz. “Fone promises, forgotten realities”, it was additionally written. Politically, the topic is beginning to turn out to be annoying for the chief, regardless of the minimal share of coal within the nation's electrical energy manufacturing: barely 0.16% in 2023.

Staff fed up

The retraining tasks differ, however the workers's frustration is similar. In January, a strike discover was filed for the 2 Cordemais items, which carry collectively 335 brokers of the general public group EDF. Ditto, because the finish of April, for that of Saint-Avold, the place 120 folks work for the agency GazelEnergie, owned by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky (former oblique shareholder of World). Not counting the subcontractors. “The government is still in the communication, with words and words, but now we are waiting for action”insists Thomas About, CFDT union delegate for the Moselle web site.

Read additionally | Energy disaster: the Saint-Avold coal-fired energy station has began working once more, a couple of months after its closure

In the 2 coal-fired energy crops, conversion assessments have already included wooden pellets into the gasoline. In Moselle, GazelEnergie can also be and above all contemplating the development of a brand new construction, known as Emil'Hy. If this low-carbon hydrogen manufacturing unit sees the sunshine of day, it will likely be in a position to provide industrial prospects. “Environmental authorization requests will be submitted before the summer, signifying a degree of technical maturity of the project that is already very advanced”, says the corporate. A business dialogue is underway for a primary potential consumer, the German steelmaker SHS. Consumers in France are additionally wanted.

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