History of the power plant
The history of the Datteln 4 coal-fired power plant block began almost 15 years ago, and a lot has happened during this time: Permits have been granted, expert‘s reports have been written, judgments have been pronounced, there political discussions have taken place and construction stops as well as elections that have influenced the process. In the following we have compiled the most important points and provided original sources or, if not possible, press reports.
A detailed description of the ongoing litigation can be found here..
- 22 December 2005 and 24 November 2006: RWE concludes two contracts with E.ON for the flexible purchase of 450 MW of electricity from Datteln 41)https://www.justiz.nrw.de/nrwe/olgs/hamm/j2019/2_U_56_18_Urteil_20190314.html (Paragraph 8)
- 01 October 2006: The Münster District Government announces that E.ON has filed an application for a preliminary emission control decision with the Münster District Government. The planned commissioning date is August 20112)https://www.bezreg-muenster.de/zentralablage/dokumente/service/amtsblaetter/amtsblaetter_2006/Amtsblatt_Nr_03.pdf (p. 35)
- Possibility to inspect the related documents. They are on display at the authorities in Datteln, Waltrop and Münster from 30 January to 28 February 2006.
- From 30 January to 14 March 2006 citizens may submit written objections. 875 objections have been received and discussed over several days in the Datteln town hall.3)http://www.pro-waltrop.de/index.php/datteln-iv/das-thema#chronologie-des-kraftwerksbau-2006
- 13 March 2006: The Regionalverband Ruhr decides on the 4th amendment of the Regional Plan. The area of the later Development Plan No. 105, which according to the Regional Development Plan is not even designated for energy supply or large, space-intensive industrial sites, is amended by the amendment "Area for commercial and industrial uses with additional designation power plant".4)https://recht.nrw.de/lmi/owa/br_vbl_detail_text?anw_nr=6&vd_id=1367&ver=8&val=1367&sg=1&menu=1&vd_back=N 5)http://www.die-gruenen-waltrop.de/pdf/Urteil%20Kraftwerk%20Datteln%20OVG%20Muenster.pdf (p. 7) (this 4th amendment is declared invalid by the Higher Administrational Court on 03 September 2009)
- 18 December 2006: Submission of a declaration of decommissioning for units 1-3 by 31 December 2012 (after the requirements for old power plants have been tightened up in 2004, operators could either meet these requirements through retrofitting by 01 November 2011, thus continue to operate the power plant or refrain from continuing operation from 31 December 2012). At the time of the declaration of decommissioning, there is neither a Development Plan nor approval for the construction of a new power plant.
- E.ON submits an application to build and operate the new Datteln unit 4.6)https://www.bund-nrw.de/themen/klima-energie/hintergruende-und-publikationen/steinkohlenkraftwerke/uniper-kohlekraftwerk-datteln-iv/
- 19 January 2007: City of Datteln issues Development Plan no. 1057)https://www.duh.de/fileadmin/user_upload/download/Pressemitteilungen/Energie/Verfahrensstand_EON-Datteln_03-2010.pdf
- 30 January 2007: Münster District Government issues preliminary notice under Emission Control Law for the construction and operation of the Datteln 4 hard coal-fired power plant. Preliminary notice is part of the permit. 8)https://www.bezreg-muenster.de/zentralablage/dokumente/service/amtsblaetter/amtsblaetter_2007/Amtsblatt_Nr_05.pdf (p. 51) 9)https://www.ovg.nrw.de/behoerde/presse/pressemitteilungen/01_archiv/2012/23_120612/index.php
- 07 February 2007: Granting of the 1st partial licence10)https://www.bezreg-muenster.de/de/regionalrat/archiv_der_sitzungen/2000_ZH_2009-12-14/_ablage/TOP01_SV571.pdf (p. 36)
- 09 February 2007: Digging the first turf ceremony and thus start of construction for Datteln 4. Planned commissioning was August 2011.
- 14 February 2007: Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND NRW) files an objection against the 1st partial permit, the Higher Administrative Court Münster imposes a construction stop from 16 to 21 February.11)https://www.ovg.nrw.de/behoerde/presse/pressemitteilungen/01_archiv/2007/03_070221/index.php
- 21 February 2007 E.ON is allowed to continue building, on the basis of the voluntary commitment "in the event that the permit for the new power station is finally not granted or is cancelled, the land used up to that point shall be restored, doubling the previous stock of cleared trees". (so-called "restitution obligation") [Ref.: 8 B 265/07.AK]12)12)https://www.ovg.nrw.de/behoerde/presse/pressemitteilungen/01_archiv/2007/03_070221/index.php
- Issue of partial authorisations: 07 February 2007 1st partial authorisation, 02 April 2007 2nd partial authorisation, 12 December 2007 3rd partial authorisation, 16 August 2008 4th partial authorisation, 17 October 2008 5th partial authorization13)https://www.bezreg-muenster.de/de/regionalrat/archiv_der_sitzungen/2000_ZH_2009-12-14/_ablage/TOP01_SV571.pdf (p. 36) 14)https://www.duh.de/fileadmin/user_upload/download/Pressemitteilungen/Energie/Verfahrensstand_EON-Datteln_03-2010.pdf
- 19 October 2007: Filing a special complaint against the Development Plan for Block 4.
- May 2007: BUND NRW files a complaint against the 1st, 4th and 5th partial permit, also against the planning approval decisions for the construction of a parallel port, relocation of the Öhlmühlenbach stream and 380 kV overhead line to connect the power plant to the grid15)https://www.bund-nrw.de/themen/klima-energie/hintergruende-und-publikationen/steinkohlenkraftwerke/uniper-kohlekraftwerk-datteln-iv/ (the latter was rejected, 19 March 2008)16)https://www.ovg.nrw.de/behoerde/presse/pressemitteilungen/01_archiv/2008/12_080319/index.php
- 12 November 2007: Ceremonial laying of the foundation stone with Prime Minister Dr Rüttgers (CDU)17)https://www.waz.de/staedte/vest/am-neuen-eonkraftwerk-wurde-der-grundstein-gelegt-id2067342.html , numerous protests, Greenpeace activist falls into the canal during action
- The railway concludes a purchase agreement with E.ON for 413 MW of 16.7 Hz electricity.18)https://www.waz.de/staedte/castrop-rauxel/bahn-droht-mit-vertragsaufloesung-id11419986.html
- 25 April 2008: BUND NRW takes legal action against emission control permission and against the 1st partial approval of the power plant.19)https://www.bund-nrw.de/themen/klima-energie/hintergruende-und-publikationen/steinkohlenkraftwerke/uniper-kohlekraftwerk-datteln-iv/
- 17 October 2008: Two actions against 5th partial permit20)https://www.bund-nrw.de/themen/klima-energie/hintergruende-und-publikationen/steinkohlenkraftwerke/uniper-kohlekraftwerk-datteln-iv/
- 03 September 2009: Münster Higher Administrative Court declares Development Plan no. 105 to be invalid following a complaint by a neighbouring farmer.21)https://www.ovg.nrw.de/behoerde/presse/pressemitteilungen/01_archiv/2009/29_090903/index.php
[Ref: 10 D 121/07.NE]22)http://www.justiz.nrw.de/nrwe/ovgs/ovg_nrw/j2009/10_D_121_07_NEurteil20090903.html
- Planning violates the objectives of Regional Planning (the municipality is bound by these objectives when it comes to projects of national importance)
- The Council is said not to have sufficiently taken into account the requirements of the Regional Development Plan for resource and climate-protecting energy use
- The Town of Datteln is said not to have considered the risk to the local population in the event of an incident that could not be ruled out
- According to the court, nature and landscape conservation are not sufficiently considered, effects of air and noise emissions not sufficiently weighed up.
- The appeal by E.ON and the City of Datteln against the non-admission of the appeal is dismissed by the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) on 16 March 2010, and the ruling is thus confirmed.
- 11 and 14 September 2009: The pending lawsuits of 25 April 2008 against emission control permit and against the 1st partial permit are extended by the farmer and BUND NRW to include lawsuits against the 3rd, 4th and 5th partial permits.23)https://www.ovg.nrw.de/behoerde/presse/pressemitteilungen/01_archiv/2009/31_090924/index.php
- 24 September 2009: Münster Higher Administrative Court: Lawsuits against 4th and 5th partial permit have a suspensive effect. Temporary partial stop of construction of Datteln 4.24)https://www.ovg.nrw.de/behoerde/presse/pressemitteilungen/01_archiv/2009/31_090924/index.php Only partial permits 2 and 3 may be executed.
- 26 November 2009: E.ON applies for initiation of the development procedure for a development plan related to a project to create a new legal basis for the construction of the new power plant.25)https://datteln.gremien.info/anlagen.php
- 17 December 2009: The Federal State Government (CDU/FDP) deletes the "climate protection paragraph" ("[...] to strive for the use of domestic and renewable energy sources in particular")26)https://www.arnsberg.de/stadtentwicklung/einzelhandel/landesentwicklungsprogramm-nrw.pdf (p. 8) from the State Development Programme 1989.27)https://recht.nrw.de/lmi/owa/br_vbl_detail_text?anw_nr=6&vd_id=11858&vd_back=N874&sg=0&menu=1 This is known as "Lex E.ON ". The deletion is intended to make the construction of the power plant legally possible, since according to the ruling of the OVG since this paragraph has also been violated.28)https://www.zeit.de/2010/01/Kohle-NRW (Although the SPD Social Democrates Party is in favour of the new construction, they would like to have a proper planning procedure.)29)https://www.wn.de/NRW/2009/12/NRW-Landtag-verbessert-Chance-fuer-Kraftwerk-in-Datteln
- 02 February 2010: The CDU/FDP State Government decides on procedures for the 1st amendment of the 1995 State Development Plan; this is to form the basis for the construction of the new power plant. Corresponding sections are deleted and replaced by new ones.30)https://recht.nrw.de/lmi/owa/br_vbl_detail_text?anw_nr=7&vd_id=12030&ver=8&val=12030&sg=0&menu=1&vd_back=N 31)https://www.bezreg-muenster.de/de/regionalrat/archiv_der_sitzungen/1600_ZH_2010-09-20/_ablage/TV_61e.pdf
- 16 March 2010: Confirmation of the ruling by the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) through dismissing the appeal lodged by E.ON and the City of Datteln against non-admission of the appeal. Judgment of the Münster Higher Administrative Court of 03 September 2009 thus confirmed.32)https://www.bverwg.de/pm/2010/14 33)https://www1.wdr.de/kraftwerk_datteln114.html
- 17 March 2010: Datteln City Council initiates a procedure for the preparation of the Development Plan no. 105a, thus following E.ON’s application dated 26 November 200934)https://datteln.gremien.info/sitzungen_top.php?sid=ni_2009-Rat-7&suchbegriffe=bebauungsplan+105&select_koerperschaft=&select_gremium=&datum_von=2009-10-21&datum_bis=2020-11-25&entry=0&sort=datum&kriterium=si&x=11&y=13
- 09 May 2010: State elections in NRW: The red-green minority government lead by Hannelore Kraft replaces the black-yellow government led by Jürgen Rüttgers.35)https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landtagswahl_in_Nordrhein-Westfalen_2010
- 20 September 2010: The new State Government discontinues the procedure for amending the Regional Development Plan of the previous government.36)https://www.bezreg-muenster.de/de/regionalrat/archiv_der_sitzungen/1600_ZH_2010-09-20/_ablage/TV_61e.pdf
- 06 October 2010: E.ON revokes its declaration of decommissioning for Datteln 1 - 3, arguing that due to the delay of Datteln 4, they would be dependent on the continued operation of Datteln 1 – 3.37)https://www.ovg.nrw.de/behoerde/presse/pressemitteilungen/01_archiv/2012/14_120321/index.php
- 18 October 2010: Münster District Government concludes that the continued operation of units 1-3 is not permissible, as the 2006 closure declaration is binding.38)https://openjur.de/u/454459.html
- Year of planned commissioning of Datteln 4
- Datteln 1 – 3 meet the stricter limits (13th BImSchV) applicable from 01 January 2011 after cleaning and by operation with other (more expensive) coal; thus, continued operation after 01 January 2013 is assumed.39)https://www.ovg.nrw.de/behoerde/presse/pressemitteilungen/01_archiv/2012/14_120321/index.php
- Status: Development Plan no. 105 is invalid as it violates the state development plan. Due to the subsequent stop of construction, the power plant is still not completed in the year of planned commissioning. Attempts to heal by deleting the climate protection paragraph or attempting to change the Regional Development Plan have not led to a solution. Expert opinions are prepared to clarify whether and how the power plant construction could be continued:40)https://www.waz.de/staedte/vest/und-noch-n-gutachten-id4270306.html
- 11 November 2010: Philipp Heinz writes that there is every reason to believe that a procedure to deviate from the goals is illegal, since the basic principles of Regional Planning are affected in several ways. (on behalf of BI Meistersiedlung)41)https://www.ruhrbarone.de/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Gutachten-Heinz..pdf
- 12 January: Professor Dr Martin Schulte writes that a "legally permissible procedure for deviation from the aim is not applicable in this case" (on behalf of the DUH)42)http://www.duh.de/uploads/media/Rechtsgutachten_ZAV_KohleKW_Datteln4_Schulte_01-2011.pdf
- February 2011: Professor Dr Michael Uechtritz thinks that the recommended distance of 1500 m could be undercut when adhering to stricter requirements. In a new planning procedure, circumstances relevant to planning would have to be taken into account. (on behalf of the City of Datteln)43)https://www.datteln.de/index.asp?db=359&form=detail&id=210 44)http://geobubi.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ga_profuechtritzzuabstandsaspekten_feb2011-1.pdf
- 30 April: PD Dr Martin Kment believes that subsequent changes to Regional Planning through "target deviation procedures" may be possible (on behalf of E.ON)45)https://www1.wdr.de/archiv/kraftwerk-datteln/kraftwerk_datteln126.html 46)https://www.ruhrbarone.de/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/idruhr_Auszug_Gutachen_Dr._Kment2.pdf
- 18 November: NRW Ministry of Environment rejects further operation of units 1 – 3 "Revocation of the submitted declaration of decommissioning of 2006 (effective 31 December 2012) not legally possible", based on external expert opinion.47)https://www1.wdr.de/archiv/kraftwerk-datteln/kraftwerk_datteln128.html
- It is revealed that T24 steel could cause problems.48)https://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/vorab/a-770518.htm 49)https://www.gruene-datteln.de/berichte-zu-datteln4
- 13 May 2012: Early new elections in NRW: Majority of SPD/Green Party government is elected.50)https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landtagswahl_in_Nordrhein-Westfalen_2012
- 12 June 2012: Münster Higher Administrative Court evokes preliminary decision (31.01.07) on emissions laws after complaint by BUND (25.04.08) [Ref: 8 D 38/08.AK]51)https://www.justiz.nrw.de/nrwe/ovgs/ovg_nrw/j2012/8_D_38_08_AKurteil20120612.html
- The preliminary decision on the power plant is unlawful, it is not detailed enough and the Development Plan no. 105 – on which the preliminary decision is based –was been legally annulled. The FFH impact assessment is assessed as poor.
- The appeal by E.ON and the City of Datteln against the non-admission of the appeal is dismissed by the Federal Administrative Court on 26 June 2013, and the ruling is thus confirmed.
- 02 November 2012: NRW Ministry for Environment declares that it will tolerate the continued operation of units 1 – 3 for 2013 in order to ensure the supply of railway power and district heating, which is in the public interest. From 2014, a converter station for converting main power into single-phase traction current is to be available.54)https://www.umwelt.nrw.de/pressearchiv/presse2012/presse121102.php
- 26 June 2013: Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) Leipzig confirms judgement of Münster Administrative Court (Oberverwaltungsgericht) of 12 June 2012 and thus rejects complaints of E.ON and the State of NRW against non-admission of the appeal.55)https://www.bverwg.de/260613B7B42.12.0
- 05 July 2013: The Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR) District Government submits an application for 2 target deviation procedures (deviations from the targets of the Sate Development Plan NRW 1995 shall be granted: a) given location of the power plant, b) foreign instead of domestic coal). This is the basis for a new development plan.56)https://www1.wdr.de/archiv/kraftwerk-datteln/rvr100.html 57)http://pro-waltrop.de/index.php/component/content/featured?id=featured&start=4#chronologie-des-kraftwerksbau-2013
- 06 December 2013: The State Chancellery (the State Government) as state planning authority allows continuation of the target deviation procedures. It permits deviations from the objectives of the Sate Development Plan NRW 199558)http://www.justiz.nrw.de/nrwe/ovgs/ovg_nrw/j2009/10_D_121_07_NEurteil20090903.html 59)https://www1.wdr.de/archiv/kraftwerk-datteln/datteln126.html 60)https://www.ruhrbarone.de/duesseldorf-nrw-gruene-knicken-ein-zielabweichungsverfahren-fuer-datteln-4-wird-fortgesetzt/71370
- 13 December 2013: As a result of the deviation from the target, the RVR decides on the 7th amendment to the Regional Plan (published on 01 April 2014). This forms the basis for the development plan No. 105a.61)http://www.brd.nrw.de/wirueberuns/Amtsblatt/2013/Amtsblatt-Nr_48.pdf (p. 3) 62)https://recht.nrw.de/lmi/owa/br_vbl_detail_text?anw_nr=6&vd_id=14311&menu=1&sg=0&keyword=7.%20%E4nderung%20des%20regionalplans 63)https://www.rvr.ruhr/fileadmin/user_upload/01_RVR_Home/02_Themen/Regionalplanung_Entwicklung/Emscher_Lippe_AEnderungen/01_AEnderungen/7_Aend_Datteln__B_.pdf
- 14 May 2014: Council of the City of Datteln approves new Development Plan no. 105a. 64)https://datteln.gremien.info/sitzungen_top.php?sid=ni_2010-Rat-45&suchbegriffe=bebauungsplan+105&select_koerperschaft=&select_gremium=&datum_von=2009-10-21&datum_bis=2020-11-25&entry=50&sort=datum&kriterium=si&x=10&y=8 (TOP 6 Beschluss) 65)https://www.yumpu.com/de/document/read/33147714/stadt-datteln-teil-a-begrundung-buergerbeteiligung-dattelnde Previously it had been displayed to the public and citizens had been given the opportunity to submit objections.66)https://www.bund-nrw.de/fileadmin/nrw/dokumente/Energie_und_Klima/2013_10_07_PGT_Einwendung_BPlan-Datteln_web.pdf
- 4 March 2016: Münster District Government grants preliminary approval for continuing construction. Pending the final decision of the authorities, preparatory construction measures may be carried out.67)https://www.bezreg-muenster.de/de/presse/2017/2017-01-19_uniper_datteln_IV/index.html
- 19 January 2017: Münster District Government issues emission control approval. Construction and commissioning are thus possible.68)https://www.bezreg-muenster.de/zentralablage/dokumente/umwelt_und_natur/immissionsschutzrechtliche_genehmigungsverfahren/2017/Uniper_Endfassung-BImSchG-Genehmigung-Kraftwerk-Datteln-4.pdf 69)https://www.bezreg-muenster.de/de/presse/2017/2017-01-19_uniper_datteln_IV/index.html 70)https://www.bezreg-muenster.de/de/umwelt_und_natur/immissionsschutzrechtliche_genehmigungsverfahren/genehmigungsbescheide/uniper_datteln_4/index.html
- In response, new lawsuits have been filed: Uniper against the approval because of excessive mercury emission requirements (stricter than legal limits) and BUND against the approval notice itself.71)https://rp-online.de/politik/uniper-und-umweltschuetzer-klage-wegen-datteln_aid-19040465
- 26 May 2017: Uniper files a lawsuit against RWE for the cancellation of the purchase contracts of 2005 and 2006 at the Essen Regional Court. (Landgericht)72)https://www.n-tv.de/wirtschaft/kurznachrichten/Uniper-klagt-im-Streit-mit-RWE-article19860796.html
- 07 November 2017: Fortum makes offer to E.ON of a 46.65% share in Uniper for 3.76 billion Euro.73)https://www.eon.com/de/ueber-uns/presse/pressemitteilungen/2018/eon-dient-uniper-aktien-im-rahmen-des-fortum-uebernahmeangebotes-an.html 74)https://www.manager-magazin.de/unternehmen/energie/e-on-johannes-teyssen-verlaengert-uniper-restanteil-geht-an-fortum-a-1186878.html
- Uniper and RWE are at court since RWE does not want to pay the high electricity prices originally agreed upon.75)https://www.energate-messenger.de/news/174446/datteln-4-uniper-klagt-gegen-rwe
- 13 March 2018: RWE is not allowed to terminate the purchase contracts, the Essen Regional Court ruled.76)https://rp-online.de/wirtschaft/datteln-uniper-siegt-gegen-rwe-vor-gericht_aid-19047705
- May 2018: In the power plant there are boiler problems due to the special steel T24 used, which enables the high efficiency. Uniper checks 35,000 welds and replaces complete walls of the boiler with the conventional T12 steel.77)https://www.24vest.de/datteln/kraftwerk-datteln-8000-quadratmeter-kesselwand-schrott-12385505.html 78)https://rp-online.de/wirtschaft/datteln-droht-jahrelange-verzoegerung_aid-19029419
- January: Coal Commission advises against commissioning.79)https://www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/DE/Downloads/A/abschlussbericht-kommission-wachstum-strukturwandel-und-beschaeftigung.pdf?__blob=publicationFile (p. 62)
- 01 June Andreas Schierenbeck (former head of Thyssenkrupp Elevators) becomes new chairman of Uniper.80)https://www.boerse-online.de/nachrichten/aktien/uniper-aktie-aktivistischer-investor-elliott-laesst-nicht-locker-1028255728
- 08 October 2019: Fortum buys 20.5% of Uniper shares from Elliot hedge funds and Knight Vinke for 2.3 billion euros. Fortum thus holds more than 70.5% of Uniper.81)https://ir.uniper.energy/websites/uniper/German/1400/aktionaersstruktur.html 82)https://www.wiwo.de/unternehmen/energie/energiekonzern-kampf-verloren-fortum-ergreift-die-mehrheit-bei-uniper/25094986.html
- October 2019: Uniper wants to synchronize unit with the power grid on 04 January 2020, plan: commissioning summer 2020.
- 16.01.20: Bewilligung der Inbetriebnahme durch Beschlüsse der Bundesregierung zum Kohleausstieg83)https://www1.wdr.de/nachrichten/ruhrgebiet/datteln-vier-soll-ans-netz-100.html 84)https://www.24vest.de/waltrop/waltropdatteln-entscheidung-gefallen-geht-datteln-netz-13442224.html
- 30 May 2020: Commissioning of Datteln 4
- 15.01.21: Das Kohlelager des Kraftwerks brennt85)https://www.24vest.de/datteln/kraftwerk-datteln-feuer-im-kohlelager-und-dichter-qualm-besteht-gefahr-das-sagt-uniper-90169781.html