The board of directors at Italian utility Enel has voted to actively oppose a decision by the Lazio regional authority blocking investment at the Civitavecchia coal-fired power station.

Enel says it opposes the ill-informed decision of the authority to suspend work on marine infrastructure at the plant. The utility believes that the council has failed to recognize the continued role of coal in the generation mix, aided by the development of emissions-reducing technology.

In circumstances that are laying bare by the dramatic structural fragility of the natural gas supply system and the dangers of over-reliance on one type of fuel to generate electricity, the diversification of energy resources, supplier countries and supply systems, and the need to ensure energy security and greater competitiveness for Italy has become a matter of even greater urgency and strategic importance.

If the new Civitavecchia power station had entered service at the beginning of 2005, it would have saved about 3 billion cubic meters of gas to date, thereby forestalling the emergency that the country has been facing over the last few months, Enel said in a statement.

The board vowed to seek compensation for losses incurred as a result of the Lazio region’s decision.