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Fortum’s statement on the commissioning of the Datteln 4 power plant

29 May 2020, 15:30 EEST

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Our subsidiary Uniper's Datteln 4 power plant will begin operating on Saturday, 30 May. The launch of the power plant has given rise to much debate due to fears that the plant will increase emissions from electricity production in Germany.

We understand people’s concerns, and we agree that coal must be phased out and emissions must be reduced. However, the transition to a low-emission society must be made without compromising the security of supply or an affordable cost of energy in a socially just manner. This has been the starting point for the comprehensive solution of the German government, which allows the commissioning of Datteln 4 and the systematic phasing out of coal by 2038.

The German government is committed to reducing emissions quickly, so old and inefficient power plants will be decommissioned first. As long as coal is needed to ensure the security of supply, it should be used as efficiently as possible.

Fortum recently acquired a majority share in Uniper. Together with Uniper, we are already the third-largest producer of carbon-free electricity in Europe, and Uniper has announced that it will shut down all its old coal-fired power plants in Germany and the UK by 2025. The company aims for its electricity and heat production in Europe to be carbon-neutral in 2035. Since 2016, the company has reduced its emissions by 40%; in 2019 alone, this reduction was  20%.

Our next step is to agree on a common strategy with Uniper and set ambitious climate targets that apply to all our operations. We understand that many would like us to make faster commitments and act in a more agile manner. Still, changes of this calibre must be implemented responsibly, considering all aspects. However, the direction is clear: a cleaner future. We promise to work diligently and continuously towards this goal.

Fortum Corporation

You can find more information on CEO Pekka Lundmark’s blog.