Actually, the restart of the coal-fired power plant in Mellach (Styria), which was shut down in 2020, should have been decided on Tuesday. But nothing will come of it now: The SPÖ does not want to agree to the Natural Gas Control Measures Ordinance and thus, among other things, the reactivation of the coal-fired power plant in the main committee of the National Council. So the coal-fired power plant will remain cold, at least for the time being – and the energy minister’s next plan will also flop.
The behavior of the SPÖ was “completely irresponsible”, criticized Gewessler. According to Gewessler, a reactivated coal-fired power plant in Mellach can supply 260,000 households with electricity and heat in an emergency. “I hold the SPÖ responsible when homes for families and children remain cold,” she continued. August Wöginger (ÖVP) and Sigi Maurer (Greens) also described the SPÖ’s voting behavior as “grossly irresponsible”.
Last week, the Social Democrats tied their approval to several conditions, such as that additional costs arising from the conversion from gas to coal and oil may not be passed on to energy customers. The SPÖ also demands that companies that make high profits due to the energy crisis do not receive any funding under the regulation. If there are substantial changes, the regulation could be decided “next week or the week after,” said deputy SPÖ club chairman Jörg Leichtfried. In order to pass the regulation, the governing parties ÖVP and Greens need a two-thirds majority.