France may restart coal-fired power plant in Lorraine this winter

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PARIS, June 26 (Reuters) - The French government could restart a coal-fired power plant in the Lorraine region in north eastern France this winter, France's energy ministry said in a written statement Sunday, confirming a report from broadcaster RTL.

"As a precautionary measure, given the situation in Ukraine, we are reserving the option to reactivate the Saint Avold plant ...if needed this winter," the ministry said.

The plans will not affect the phasing out of coal plants in France, the ministry added, noting the operator would offset the emissions through measures like reforestation.

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Electricity production from coal will remain below 1%, officials said.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has thrown the spotlight on the Europe's reliance on Russian gas, prompting a scramble to find alternative energy sources.

The heads of France's big energy companies on Sunday urged individuals and businesses to limit power consumption immediately to prepare for a looming energy crisis. read more

No Russian coal will be used in the Saint Avold plant, the ministry said Sunday.

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Reporting by Benjamin Mallet, writing by Mimosa Spencer. Editing by Jane Merriman

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