January 23, 2012 / 3:33 PM / in 6 years

Dutch utility puts off plan for nuclear power plant

AMSTERDAM, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Dutch utility Delta and its partners EDF and RWE have postponed plans to build a second nuclear power plant in the Netherlands because of the poor investment climate and low electricity prices.

Delta had plans to build a nuclear power plant with a maximum capacity of 2,500 megawatts in the southwest of the country, next to an existing plant near the town of Borssele, but said on Monday it was delaying these for two to three years.

“The last half-year the investment climate has worsened due to the financial crisis. In addition, overcapacity of electricity production has increased further due to the recession,” Delta said in a statement.

The new plant would have cost between 5 billion and 7 billion euros, Delta spokeswoman Mirjam van Zuilen said. Representatives of EDF and RWE were not immediately able to comment.

Delta had also talked to parties other than EDF and RWE about participating in the nuclear power plant but did not win their support, Van Zuilen said.

Uncertainty about carbon dioxide (CO2) prices was also a reason for putting the nuclear plan on hold, Van Zuilen said. CO2 reduction was one of Delta’s reasons for building a new nuclear power plant.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy and biggest energy user, last year decided to abandon nuclear power in the aftermath of Japan’s nuclear disaster at Fukushima in March.

Van Zuilen said the Japanese disaster was not a factor in the decision to postpone the new Dutch plant.

RWE owns 30 percent of the existing Borssele plant, while Delta, which is owned by Dutch municipalities and provinces, owns the remainder. (Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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