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Energy: the conversion of the Cordemais coal-fired power plant validated by the State


The Loire-Atlantique industrial site will produce energy using pellets from furniture wood waste. Full conversion is expected by 2027.

Le Figaro Nantes

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The letter of commitment signed by the hand of Agnès Pannier-Runacher, the Minister for the Ecological Transition, was a little late.

Expected this Friday at noon by the employees of the Cordemais coal-fired power plant (Loire-Atlantique), it did not arrive until 1:16 p.m.


“seven years of struggle”,

according to the unions, marked by several upheavals and strikes, the EcoCombust project which provides for the conversion of the site to biomass, is therefore validated by the State.

Read also Offshore wind turbines: wind of discord in Loire-Atlantique over the distribution of subsidies

“It's a relief and a source of pride for the workers.

Finally, we can have peace of mind

,” rejoices with Le


, Gwenaël Plagne, secretary of the CGT of EDF Cordemais.

"This makes it possible to create new jobs and to include all existing jobs

[approximately 500, editor's note]

in the energy transition"

, he adds.

On Tuesday, the trade unionist was part of a delegation received at the Élysée to finalize the details of this major project carried out by EDF and the French company for the collection and recycling of industrial and household waste Paprec.

The latter plans to convert the site's energy production source: fire coal, make way for “black pellets” from furniture waste.

A gradual transition

A transition that will not happen all at once but gradually.

The total conversion is scheduled for 2027. The initial phase will be the construction of a pellet manufacturing plant in addition to the existing facilities.

"The first stone of the plant could be laid by the end of 2023, for commissioning scheduled for 2025"

, specifies Gwenaël Plagne.

In the long term, it should make it possible to produce 160,000 tonnes of pellets per year:

“Sourcing will be done in recycling centers within a radius of 100 kilometers”


In addition, the boilers will have to be modified to ensure the grinding of the pellets.

“It's a bit like a coffee grinder.

The pellets being close to coal, it is done very easily”

, assures the trade unionist who recalls that this technology, which has been the subject of a patent by EDF, has already been tested on a small scale for some time.

Between 230 and 250 million euros

Such change also requires money.

The construction of the pellet factory is estimated at 200 million euros.

To convert the plant, it is necessary to add 30 to 50 million euros.

A significant investment which will be covered in part by public aid from the State and via European funds.

Direct or reimbursable subsidies which could be around 70 million euros.

There remains an uncertainty in the file: the date until which RTE (the network manager) will want to maintain the activity of the Cordemais power station.

Gwenaël Plagne is betting on a horizon stretching

at least

until 2030 or even 2035:

“We are going to produce carbon-free energy and secure the network by reducing the risk of cuts.

I'm not saying that our role will be essential, we will be more of a spare wheel, but we will be able to render services.

Read alsoPollution by "mermaid's tears" on the Atlantic coast: new complaint and citizen mobilization

After this time, the site, which supplies power lines of 400,000 volts, could be subject to further conversion.

In this, the trade unionist refers in particular to the project of mini-nuclear reactors SMR (

small modular reactors

) carried out by Emmanuel Macron.

The Pays de la Loire Region, through its president Christelle Morançais, has already said that it is in favor of such a location on the site of the Cordemais power plant.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-20

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