Greenpeace says blocking Rotterdam harbor basin

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Two Greenpeace ships are blocking a dock at Rotterdam port used to unload coal as part of a protest against the construction of a coal-fired power plant there, the environmental group said on Sunday.

But a port spokesman called the blockade largely symbolic.

Greenpeace activist Agnes de Rooij said the ships Rainbow Warrior and Beluga II were blocking Rotterdam port’s Mississippi dock, where they were expecting a coal ship to dock later on Sunday.

“We will try to stay as long as possible,” she said.

A port spokesman denied that a coal ship was expected there later, adding that of the three ships that were unloading, the first would only depart on Monday evening.

“We expect the situation to be resolved by then,” the spokesman said.

As the basin is off the main waterway, ships can pass into others parts of Rotterdam port, which extends over 40 km (25 miles).

Greenpeace said 90 activists were arrested on Saturday after chaining themselves to construction machines and cranes in protest against the construction of the coal-fired power plant.

“Coal is the worst polluting of all fossil fuels and the single greatest threat facing the climate,” Greenpeace said.

Reporting by Niclas Mika