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.