Enel coal power plant in La Spezia, Italy


The plant "Eugenio Montale", owned by Enel, was located in 1962 in an urban, residential and industrial area near the center of the city centre of La Spezia. The power plant, fueled first by fuel oil and then coal, reached in 1968 its maximum power of 1835 MW.

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Basic Data
NameEnel coal power plant in La Spezia, Italy
ProvinceLiguria Region
SiteMunicipality of La Spezia
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Thermal power plants
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe Enel plant was inaugurated in 1962 and in the sixties was the largest in Europe, with a 5% contribution to national energy production. In addition to the plant for the production of energy, the settlement includes two large open areas used for the carbon deposit and connected by means of a conveyor belt of over 1.5 Km, that reaches the coal ships.

The obsolete structures do not guarantee containment of diffuse emissions according to the limits achievable with the use of new technologies. The plant has steadily reduced its efficiency by increasing its emissions, consumption of water from the aqueduct and waste production[1].
Project Area (in hectares)72
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population250.000
Start Date1987
Company Names or State EnterprisesEnel from Italy
Relevant government actorsMunicipality and Province of Spezia, Municipality of Arcola, Region Liguria, Ministero dell’ambiente,

ISPRA (Institute for Environmental Protection and Research ), ARPAL (Regional Agency for the environmental protection, Liguria), ASL5 (Helath local agency), ISS (National Institute of Health), Medical order of La Spezia
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersComitato SpeziaViaDalCarbone - http://www.speziaviadalcarbone.org/; Medici per l’ambiente ISDE (SP) - http://mediciambientespezia.blogspot.it/; Greenpeace; WWF; Legambiente; Italia Nostra; Rete Stop Enel - http://stopenel.org/
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Shareholder/financial activism.
Boycotts of companies-products
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
OtherRespiratory cancers

cardiovascular diseases

respiratory diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Development of AlternativesThe local committee SpeziaViadalCarbone mobilised for the disclosure of the coal power plant and ask for new and ecologic options for the use of the area. Alternatives aim to convert the local economy.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The mobilisation didn't reach the objective of the protests. Nevertheless since 2011 the local committee managed to raise public attention on the importance to protect environment and health and to reactivate a historical conflict. LaSpeziaViaDalCarbone Commitee conducted research, disseminated information, implemented activities of awareness and mobilization, revitalised participation on important health issues and strengthened citizens' will to participate in decision-making processes regarding urban development.
Sources and Materials

Law 10th of May 1976 n. 319
[click to view]

EIA Enel La Spezia
[click to view]


Environmental declaration, La Spezia cola power plant
[click to view]

WWF Dossier: “Carbone: un ritorno al passato inutile e pericoloso”

ENEL TODAY & TOMORROW “Hidden Costs of the Path of Coal and Carbon versus Possibilities for a Cleaner and Brighter Future

DOSSIER GREENPEACE “ Enel, il Carbone costa un morto al giorno”


Online newspaper
[click to view]

StopEnel network
[click to view]

Il Post.it article
[click to view]

Ecologia politica article
[click to view]

Altreconomia article
[click to view]

ARPA document
[click to view]

Media Links

La Via Del Carbone - Reportage di Rita Rocca RAI Radio1
[click to view]

Other Documents

La Spezia coal power plant
[click to view]

Demonstration in La Spezia
[click to view]

Comitato SpeziaViaDalCArbone
[click to view]

Climate day in La Spezia
[click to view]

Public protest
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorMartina Di Russo (CDCA) - Daniela Patrucco (SpeziaViaDalCarbone)
Last update09/03/2015