Canadian Manufacturing

Spain spending US$2.4B to shut 26 coal mines over next two years

EU clears multibillion-dollar spend as Spain works to wind down production at more than two dozen mines by 2018



Spain plans to shut down 26 coal mines over the next two years, providing laid-off workers with financial support and social security benefits. PHOTO: Decumanus, via Wikimedia Commons

Spain plans to shut down 26 coal mines over the next two years, and will use the funds to provide laid-off workers with financial support and social security benefits. PHOTO: Decumanus, via Wikimedia Commons

MADRID—Spain has won approval from European authorities to spend 2.13 billion euros (US$2.4 billion) on the closure of 26 coal mines by 2018.

The government expenditure includes covering production losses as the uncompetitive mines wind down, providing financial support to laid-off workers through severance payments and social security benefits, and financing safety and other works after the mines close.

The European Commission, which approves state aid as long as it doesn’t distort competition, gave the go-ahead May 27 after agreeing to Spain’s closure plan, which has brought protests from some miners.

Coal accounts for about a quarter of the European Union’s electricity production, according to the Commission, which is trying to drastically reduce the bloc’s carbon emissions, including from coal-fired power plants.

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