German energy major RWE has gained environmental consent for developing a 1.6GW coal-fired power plant at Eemshaven in the Netherlands.

The approval, issued by a Dutch court, clears the way for commissioning the power plant, which involves an investment of €3bn ($3.36bn), reports Reuters.

Once operational, the thermal power facility is expected to generate enough electricity for two million German and Dutch homes.

"Once operational, the thermal power facility is expected to generate enough electricity for two million German and Dutch homes."

Delivering an efficiency of more than 46%, the facility is claimed to be one of the world’s most modern power stations. Construction of the facility, which was scheduled to be operational in 2014, was started in 2008.

Commissioning of the facility was delayed over environmental concerns about its development near nature reserves, including mud flats and islands off the Dutch and German North Sea coast.

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By GlobalData

Greenpeace and other environmental groups filed objections over the issues in a Dutch court for the development across a 50ha at the Eemshaven port.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the coal-fired facility was also an issue Greenpeace opposed.

Both German and Dutch governments are in support of the thermal power project, since Germany intends to end nuclear power production by 2020, and the Netherlands will struggle owing to a decline in natural gas resources.

According to RWE’s Dutch subsidiary Essent, coal is a relatively cheaper fuel for power generation and can be derived in large quantities from politically stable countries.