11 Jul 2013

SLN defends decision to build coal-powered plant in New Caledonia

4:38 am on 11 July 2013

The state-owned miner, Societe Le Nickel, has defended its plans to build a new coal-powered plant in New Caledonia's capital.

SLN is facing mounting criticism with nickel mining being blamed for New Caledonia's soaring carbon emissions and heavy pollution in Noumea.

Johnny Blades reports.

"As the major player in the territory, SLN is being accused of driving New Caledonia's carbon emissions rate skywards with plans for its new plant. But the company says the plant will use 21st century technology and that its atmospheric emission will be reduced by more than 10 times compared with the existing power plant. SLN says the new plant will comply with the latest French atmospherics regulations which it calls the strictest in the world. Last month, a petition with almost 7 thousand signatures opposing the plant was presented to the territorial government. SLN says the decision to run with the coal option came after shareholders studied a range of possibilities for two years."