Netherlands and coal

From Global Energy Monitor

The Netherlands does not produce any coal, but has coal reserves.[1]

Coal Resources

According to the Dutch Geological Survey (DGS)'s last assessment in 1986, the Netherlands had 11,404 million tonnes of coal in seams greater than 50 cm height and 5,165 million tonnes of coal in seams greater than 100 cm in height. At any average recovery rate of 25%, they estimated that 2,851 million tonnes and 1,291 million tonnes would be mineable, respectively.[2]

Resource Details

Category Reserve Classification Quantity Units Data Year
BGR Estimate Reserves 497[1] million tonnes 2019
BGR Estimate Resources 2,750[1] million tonnes 2019
Geological Survey Reserves 1,291[2] million tonnes 1986
Geological Survey Resources 5,165[2] million tonnes 1986
Commercial Reserves Reserves million tonnes
Commercial Resources Resources million tonnes

Coal Production

There is currently no coal mining within The Netherlands. But there is an older history of the mining in the country. As recently as 2010, the British Geological survey stated that over 40,000 tonnes of anthracite and nearly 7.6 million tonnes of "other" coal were extracted in the Netherlands.[3]

Coal Consumption

Proposed Coal-Fired Power Stations

  • Eemshaven Power Station is proposed by RWE to have an installed capacity of 1600 megawatts and to come on line by after 2011/2012. It has been approved for construction. On its website, RWE states that "the authorities in charge at the Eemshaven location in Groningen province are currently processing the request for approval (MER) for building the plant. RWE submitted the records in January 2007."[4]RWE lists it as one of its major capital investments at a cost of 2.2 billion euros.[5] As of 2012 the plant is scheduled to begin operation by 2014 and will be partially fuelled by biomass. The 50 hectare site is located at Eemshaven port.[6]
  • Magnum IGCC Power Station – Eemshaven is proposed by Nuon to have an installed capacity of 1300 megawatts and cost 1 billion euros to construct. The plant, which was originally proposed in September 2005, has been approved to run on syngas derived from coal. Power in Europe noted in Spetember 2007 "Nuon decides to build this plant in phases because of doubling of costs relating to construction and equipment for gasification plant. A 1.2-GW natural gas-fired combined cycle plant will be built first (completion foreseen 2011), followed by coal/biomass gasification plant, replacing natural gas with syngas. Nuon expects within two years to take a decision on the construction of the gasification plant." The newsletter noted that the "the station is to be CO2-capture-ready at latest by 2013."[7] In 2011 it was reported that the power station will be ready at the end of 2012, but that Nuon was postponing coal gasification technology until 2020.[8]
  • Maasvlakte Power Station (E.ON) in Rotterdam is proposed by E.ON to have an installed capacity of 1100 megawatts with a njotional commissioning date of 2011/12. In April 2008 Power in Europe noted that "E.ON says all it needs to proceed is a natural habitat license and a construction licence, which it hopes to get in early 2008. Greenpeace asks Council of State to strike down environmental licenses granted to E.ON Benelux for this project."[7] E.ON started constructing the new coal-fired/biomass power station in April 2008, and it is scheduled to go on line in 2013. At the same time the the TNO-CATO test installation for trapping CO2 from flue gasses went on line at the site, with a goal to move on a commercial scale from 2020.[9]
  • Maasvlakte Power Station (Electrabel) in Rotterdam is proposed by Electrabel to have an installed capacity of 800 megawatts and run on coal and biomass. The notional commissioning date is 2011 or 2012. It is a part of a 3,500 megawatt generation plan by the company which will cost 3.5 billion euros. The project was approved in December 2007 and is proposed to be run on up to 80% biomass.[7] Electrabel began construction of the plant in 2009, scheduled for completion in 2013.[10]
  • Geertruidenberg Power Station is proposed by Essent to have an installed capacity of 800-1100 megawatts.[7] The project has been approved and will be fired predominantly with coal and 30% by biomass. In May 2008 Essent canceled the proposal stating that it was because it had received limited emission rights for carbon dioxide.[11]

Coal imports

According to the British Geological survey, the Netherlands imported 19 million tonnes of coal in 2010.[12]In 2006 approximately 27 million tonnes of coal was moved through the port of Rotterdam, a major European transport hub.[13] But the U.S. Energy Information Administration states that no coal is consumed in the country.[14]

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 BGR Energy Study 2019 - Data and Developments in German and Global Energy Supplies (23), Hannover: Germany, 2019.
  3. "European Mineral Statistics: 2006-2010," British Geological Survey, 2012.
  4. RWE, "Eemshaven power plant", RWE website, accessed July 2008.
  5. RWE, "RWE Facts & Figures 2007", RWE website,, May 2007, page 137.
  6. "Eemshaven power station (Netherlands)," RWE, accessed September 2012.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "PiE’s new power plant project tracker – April 2008", Power in Europe, Issue 523, April 7, 2008, page 32.
  8. "Nuon postpones implementation of IGCC technology at Magnum plant," Gas Turbine World, April 8, 2011.
  9. "E.ON Maasvlakte (NL)," Zero, accessed September 2012.
  10. "GDF SUEZ begins construction of 800MW biomass and coal plant," Energy Focus, June 22, 2009.
  11. "Essent stops construction of coal-powered plant",, May 30, 2008.
  12. "European Mineral Statistics: 2006-2010," British Geological Survey, 2012.
  13. Harold R. Newman, "The Mineral Industry of The Netherlands", 2006 Minerals Yearbook, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, May 2008.
  14. U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Netherlands Antilles Energy Profile", U.S. Energy Information Administration website, accessed July 2008.

External Articles

Background information