German coal power firms search personnel as parliament set to greenlight reactivation
Germany’s coal power station operators are struggling to implement the reactivation of mothballed plants, which the country’s parliament is set to approve on Thursday in order to save natural gas in the face of a shortfall of Russian supplies. Eastern German lignite plant operator LEAG alone is looking to employ more than 200 specialists on short notice, ranging from machinists to miners and engineers, reports regional broadcaster rbb. Some employees who had previously lost their jobs due to the decommissioning of coal plants have already returned, while LEAG also hopes to re-employ early retirees, the article says. The country’s largest energy company RWE has also halted early retirements in reaction to the government’s decision to increase coal use while gas supplies are low.
The country’s parliament is set to approve the reactivation of coal plants late on Thursday to prepare the country for a gas shortage. Economy minister Robert Habeck has called the decision to increase coal use “painful”, but argued it was necessary to save gas needed for heating. Despite the reactivation, the government wants to stick to its target to exit coal by 2030.
Russian state-owned company Gazprom drastically reduced flows to Germany through the offshore Nord Stream pipeline last month. Gazprom said this was due to technical problems caused by Western sanctions, but the German government has called the move politically motivated, and doesn’t rule out that flows will not resume after a planned shutdown of the pipeline for maintenance works, scheduled to end on 21 July.