Swedish oil giant Preem has abandoned its plan to expand its controversial Lysekil oil refinery. The crisis in the world economy caused by the coronavirus and changes in energy demand were officially cited as the cause.
– The investment is no longer financially viable. We will withdraw our permit applications and focus on producing renewable energy, the company announced.
Initially, Preem wanted to expand the Lysekil deepwater port as early as 2016, when it applied for a building permit for its plan. However, environmental organizations launched a furious counter-campaign that, with Monday’s announcement, produced a happy outcome.
Lysekil is located off the sensitive sea areas of the Kattegat and Skagerrak. They offer Sweden’s richest marine life as both are teeming with fish, starfish, seals, crabs, mussels and anemones.
The Skagerrak alone is home to around 1,500 different species, largely due to its high salinity. Indeed, environmental organizations have criticized a potential oil disaster as devastating to the entire ecosystem.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Greenpeace’s own Rainbow Warrior ship blocked the fjord on a sea route to an oil refinery. During the three-day protest, the tankers could not get to or from Lysekil.
The authorities had so far been positive about the expansion of the port. Admittedly, the Prime Minister Stefan Löfvenin the government he had led had not yet had time to give the final blessing. The task was difficult for it, because the Finnish Green Party’s environmental party is also on the board.
Critics say the expansion of the port would also not have matched Sweden’s promises to reduce its CO2 emissions under the Paris Climate Agreement.
– This is a great victory for the climate and the environmental movement, Sweden’s most famous climate activist is also delighted Greta Thunberg On Twitter.