Uniper's Datteln 4 coal plant allowed to enter service - sources

BERLIN, Oct 30 (Reuters) - German utility Uniper will be able to start commercial operations at its 1.5 billion euro ($1.7 billion) Datteln 4 coal-fired power plant despite recommendations to not link it to the grid, government and industry sources said.

Plagued by years of delays, the 1.1 gigawatt plant had originally been recommended to never enter service as part of Germany’s plan to abandon coal as an energy source by 2038 at the latest, with Uniper to receive compensation for the lost investment.

But talks about such payments, which went on for months, are no longer being pursued because Datteln 4, being one of the most modern coal-fired power plants, would have relatively low CO2 emissions, a government source said.

“Datteln 4 can enter service,” the source said.

Germany’s Economy Ministry and Uniper both declined to comment. A spokesman for Uniper said the group remained committed to start commercial operations at Datteln 4 in summer 2020.

$1 = 0.8990 euros Reporting by Markus Wacket; writing by Christoph Steitz; editing by Thomas Seythal