Positive Outcome For Porthos Project In Dutch Council Of State’s Final Ruling

Positive Outcome For Porthos Project In Dutch Council Of State's Final Ruling - Carbon Herald

The Porthos case received its much-anticipated ruling from the Dutch Council of State on August 16, 2023, delivering promising outcomes for both the Porthos project and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in the Netherlands.

The court’s ruling confirmed that the Porthos project will not have any significant adverse effects on Natura 2000 areas, an important network of protected nature sites in Europe. This decision is based on an additional assessment that demonstrated the project’s compliance with the European Habitats Directive and its lack of potential damage to Natura 2000 zones.

The project’s permits and zoning plan were initially given the go-ahead based on a construction exception, which led to the European Habitats Directive evaluation not considering the nitrogen emissions released from the project during its construction stage.

Porthos faced criticism from an environmental organization for taking advantage of this legal loophole and building the project in a protected natural zone. The Council of State then dealt a setback to Porthos by deeming the exemption for construction invalid.

Relevant: Dutch Court Threatens Europe’s Largest Carbon Capture Project ‘Porthos’

During the process of appeal, the group of organizations working on the Porthos project presented the court with an additional assessment on nitrogen, which played a crucial role in the final judgment.

This additional evaluation reveals that the utilization of machinery and vessels throughout the two-year building period will lead to the deposition of nitrogen in eight Natura 2000 areas.

However, after evaluating the potential negative impact of the project on the conservation goals of the affected sites and the protected habitats and species within the 8 Natura 2000 areas, the additional assessment determined that the Porthos project will not have any notable consequences for these protected areas.

Taking this new information into account, the court has determined that the additional assessment complies with European Habitats Directive regulations and provides evidence that the construction phase of the project will not result in significant consequences for the Natura 2000 areas, allowing the Porthos project to proceed with operations.

Read more: Porthos Plant Granted $2.4 Billion By The Dutch Government For Carbon Capture

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