Thursday, 3 July 2008

Greenpeace protesters shut power station

Eight Greenpeace protestors have chained themselves to a coal conveyor belt at Erarang Power Station on the Central Coast, shutting it down in protest against climate change.

About 27 supporters of the environment group breached security to gain access to the power station this morning.

Police rescue personnel are on site, and the protestors are expected to be removed soon. Nineteen of them have already been arrested.

The power station, one of eight in NSW that rely on coal to produce electricity, reduced its power output as a safety precaution but is still supplying power to the grid, a spokeswoman said.

"They have prevented about 2000 tonnes of carbon dioxide being released," a Greenpeace spokeswoman said.

The protest action comes eight months after Greenpeace temporarily shut down the nearby Munmorah Power Station, to highlight that plant's contribution to global warming.

Coal-fired electricity production accounts for almost half of the state's carbon emissions, the group said.

"Coal communities have been taken advantage of by coal companies and governments," Greenpeace said in a statement. "Renewable energy is the future and it's bright. Workers must be retrained and re-skilled so that they don't miss out."

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