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Plomin Power Station Unit C, Croatia


Plomin Power Station is located near town Plomin on Croatian peninsula Istria. The power station is owned and managed by the state company Hrvatska elektroprivreda d.d. (HEP d.d.). It is a coal fired power station consisted of two boiler units A (built in 1969) and B (built in 2000), with capacities of 120 MW and 210 MW, respectively.

The Plomin Power Station produces 12% of Croatia’s electricity needs.

In 2011, the management of the plant announced the plan for reconstruction of the unit A and construction of a new unit of 500MW named Plomin C. However, this plan has been rejected and strongly opposed by the local, national and international environmental NGOs that claimed that such project will make impossible to make long-terms cut in GHG emissions, which Croatia is obligated to do as a member of European Union. Also, the opponents of the project highlight that according to Croatian Spatial Planning Program from 1999 there should not be built any thermal power plant fueled by coal until the year 2015. Moreover, according to the actual spatial plan, on the location planned for building the Plomin C, there's a permission to build a gas power plant, with maximum capacity of 125 MW. Additionally, in 2013 the local branch of the Greenpeace did a case study on hidden cost of planned coal-fired power plant, which revealed many health and environmental drawbacks of the proposed project. The Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection of the Republic of Croatia, however, allowed building of the Plomin C. In June 2013, Istria County together with two NGOs Zelena Istra (Green Istria) and Zelena Akcija (Green Action), and some individual citizens filed a legal suit against the Ministry. In October 2013 the Administrative Court in City of Rijeka refused to bring charges against the Ministry for procedural omissions in EIA.

In March 2015, 36% of citizen of Labinština region participated in a referendum and 94% of them voted against the project. However, the results were not accepted by the government because the turnover was less than 50%.  The Croatian government selected as the project investors Japanese company Marubeni and French company Alstom, both accused for corruption. According to the contract with the investor, HEP would buy at least 50% of electricity produced in Plomin C paying 85 euros per MWh which is three-time higher prices than electricity available on the European market. In September 2015, NGOs sent a letter to the European Commission pointing on that contract conditions are contrary to EU competition law. Thereafter, the European Commission informed HEP on a negative opinion on the proposed agreement.

In addition, NGOs protested in front to the Crédit Agricole offices in Croatia and France given that this bank was contracted as a financial advisory on the project. The new bank policy forbade its participation in financing of coal power plants in countries with a high GDP, including Croatia.

In January 2016, the Croatian government announced a temporary moratorium on the Plomin C. As it has been written in the newspapers, the government is not giving up on Plomin C and it is looking for a way to be consistent with the EU rules. Therefore, until now no official  and permanent decision has been rendered and the future of the Plomin C project is still unknown.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Plomin Power Station Unit C, Croatia
State or province:Istria County
Location of conflict:Plomin
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 commodities:Electricity

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Unit C would have power of 500MW, lifetime of 25 years, and annual production of electrical energy 3.608 GWh.

The power plant would use imported coal from Colombia whose exploitation directly threatens survival of the local communities (FoE Colombia, 2016).

Level of Investment:800,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:28/03/2012
Company names or state enterprises:Hrvatska elektroprivreda d.d. (HEP d.d.) from Croatia - The owner of the Plomin Power Station
Marubeni Corporation from Japan - Selected investor
Alstom from France - Selected investor
Relevant government actors:The Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection of the Republic of Croatia; The Istria County
International and Finance InstitutionsCredit Agricole CIB from France
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:NGO Zaustavimo Plomin C; Zelena Istra (Green Istria); Zelena Akcija (Green Action); Greenpeace; Heinrich Böll Stiftung; Friends of the Earth France; Friends of the Earth Colombia; Re:Common; Bankwatch; Citizens of Lebiština

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
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

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Accidents
Potential: Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts, Deaths
Other Health impactsThe results of Greenpeace study on the health impacts of Plomin C suggest that its construction would cause 17 deaths, 2,671 asthma attacks and more than 36,000 cases of respiratory disease annually. In addition, during its expected lifespan of 40 years the coal power plant would be responsible for as many as 1,000 deaths.
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsAccording to the Greenpeace study, the total external cost from pollution would be 150 million USA per year.
A new economic analysis commissioned by Zelena akcija and carried out by the Society for Sustainable Development Design (DOOR) using European Commission methodology confirms that Plomin C is economically unfeasible.


Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Under negotiation
Withdrawal of company/investment
Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:NGOs demand permanent moratorium on Plomin C. They consider this project unmoral, unjust and perpetuating Croatia’s energy dependence on external sources. In general, they are against the use of coal for power production and demanded from the government to create conditions for massive investment in energy efficiency and renewables, in particular solar energy. NGOs also demanded from government to listen to the democratic will of the citizens demonstrated in the referendum. They also asked for more transparency on the conditions negotiated between HEP and the investor, as well as in communicating further plans on Plomin C.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Currently, there is a temporary moratorium on the project issued by the new government. However, the government is still looking for the conditions to realize the project under the conditions acceptable by the European Commission. In the past, the Administrative Court in City of Rijeka refused to bring charges against the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection for procedural omissions in EIA.

Sources and Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Greenpeace report on Plomin C

THE PLOMIN C COAL PLANT: Analysis of compatibility with Crédit Agricole energy policies

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

HEP selects Marubeni as Preferred Bidder for Plomin C coal-fired power plant

Plomin C coal power plant BANCKTRACK

Termoelektranu će graditi Marubeni: HEP za gradnju i upravljanje Plominom C odabrao Japance

Struju iz Plomina C japanski Marubeni bi HEP-u prodavao po upola višoj cijeni od tržišne

New Government, Fossil Solutions?

TE Plomin C to cause as many as 680 premature deaths over 40 years

Greenpeace ship in action against the thermpopower plant "Plomin C"

Green Action firmly opposed to the coal power plant Plomin

Croatian green groups mount legal challenge on "Plomin C" coal power plant

Zelena akcija potencijalni ulagaci u Plomin c kaznjavani zbog korupcije

Zeleni nastavljaju borbu protiv izgradnje Plomina c

Various links on Plomin C, Novilist

Plomin C nije dobio prolaz u Bruxellesu

Expert analysis confirms Croatian Plomin C coal plant is economically unfeasible

Most i HDZ se složili da Plomin C treba graditi

Ministar poduzetništva Horvat: "Plomin C nam sigurno treba"

RATKO BOŠKOVIĆ Gradnja TE Plomin-C na ugljen Labinštini je zapravo protuzakonito podmetnuta

International action in Plomin: activists called on the Croatian Government to give up on coal import and the construction of “Plomin C

Zelena akcija: Plomin C ekonomski je neisplativ projekt

Niska cijena ugljena pogurat će Plomin C

10 September 2015 - Crédit Agricole's answer to Amis de la Terre Plomin C

New Croatian government may scrap plans for Plomin-C power plant

Croatia, Italy and Colombia linked by harm from coal industry
Moratorij na Plomin C – istinski stav ili prva obmana nove Vlade?

Europska komisija ne dopušta potpisivanje ugovora za Plomin C

Uspjeh u kampanji protiv Plomina C - Crédit Agricole se povlači

Zrak onečišćen oko Plomina i Koromačna

Plomin C related articles

Koruptivne aktivnosti izvođača radova Plomina C

Informacija: Iz TE Plomin istekla nafta u more

Informacija: Iz TE Plomin istekla nafta u more

Koruptivne aktivnosti izvođača radova Plomina C

Marubeni spreman za Plomin C

Croatia's HEP, Japan's Marubeni talks on Plomin C project close to wrapup - report

Građanima je dosta Plomina C – korumpirane tvrtke, skupa struja, štetan utjecaj na zdravlje...

Otkupnu cijenu struje HEP taji od javnosti

Volju građana Vlada ne smije ignorirati

Međunarodnom akcijom aktivisti pozvali Vladu da odustane od uvoza ugljena i izgradnje Plomina C

23% birača je dovoljno za formiranje Vlade RH, a 35% nije dovoljno da odluči o Plominu C?

Nova tribina o „Plominu C“ – 29.03. svi na referendum!

Stručna analiza potvrdila: Čak i uz zanemarivanje utjecaja na zdravlje i okoliš, Plomin C je ekonomski neisplativ projekt!

Građani traže kraj fosile ere – trajno odustanite od Plomina C i bušenja Jadrana!

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Plomin C: Prava cijena ugljena 3

Greenpeace upozorava na štetnost Termoelektrane Plomin C

Video against Plomin C


STOP Plomin C

Plomin C: Prava cijena ugljena 4

Other documents

Greenpeace protest against Plomin C The banner reads: “64% of the citizens are against Plomin C”

Activistst of Green Action and Heinrich Böll Stiftung in protest against Plomin C The sign reads: “New government, fossil solutions?”

Protest in front of the Croatian government The activists have been demanding from the government to respect the results of a referendum in which 94% of the citizens were against Plomin C.

Meta information

Contributor:Jovanka Spiric, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, vankajo(at)
Last update07/05/2016



Greenpeace protest against Plomin C

The banner reads: “64% of the citizens are against Plomin C”

Actiristst of Green Action and Heinrich Böll Stiftung in protest against Plomin C

The sign reads: “New government, fossil solutions?”

Protest in front of the Croatian government

The activists have been demanding from the government to respect the results of a referendum in which 94% of the citizens were against Plomin C.