5 Feb 2009 03:25 PM
Green light for three new power stations to power 4 million homes

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE News Release (2009/011) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 5 February 2009

Energy and Climate Change Minister Mike O'Brien today granted consent for three new power stations capable of providing approximately four million homes with electricity to be constructed at Pembroke, King's Lynn and Hatfield.

The new gas fired power stations will produce around 4 gigawatts of power and will help to secure the future supply of energy for British households.

The consented power stations are:

* a 2,000 MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine power station at Pembroke, South West Wales to RWE npower

* a 900 MW integrated coal gasification gas-fired power station at Hatfield, Yorkshire to Powerfuel Power Ltd

* a 1,020 MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine power station at King's Lynn, Norfolk to Centrica Leasing (KL) Ltd

Each power station agreed during the planning process that they will have the necessary land available to retrofit a carbon capture and storage plant for future use.

Consent was also given to build a second phase at Hatfield consisting of an integrated coal gasification combined cycle power station, which will use coal to produce hydrogen to fuel the station.

As part of the phase two process of producing the gas, the company has applied to capture and remove the carbon. This might involve piping it off-shore for long-term storage and possibly using a small volume for commercial purposes. This technology would dramatically reduce emissions into the atmosphere. Operation of this second phase will however be conditional on the company submitting further evidence to Ministers demonstrating the carbon can be stored safely.

Mike O'Brien said:

"It is essential to replace older polluting power stations that are reaching the end of their lives with new stations that operate more efficiently. We welcome the investment from energy companies to do this.

"Investment like this in the energy sector will create new engineering and construction jobs.

"Each of the companies granted consent has indicated that the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry will be a key consideration in the contracts they award.

"These power stations will generate energy for four million homes for decades to come."

Notes for editors:

1. Proposals to construct power stations with a capacity greater than 50 MW requires the Secretary of State's consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989. Planning permission can be deemed to be granted under section 90(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act. 1990.

2. Each consent was also given deemed planning permission, following the agreement of individual conditions with relevant local planning authorities.

3. As the application for the Hatfield power station is in the Secretary of State Ed Miliband's constituency, he has had no role in assessing the application. The decision was made by Energy and Climate Change Minister Mike O'Brien.

4. The approvals are subject to the design of each power station including the capacity to extract high pressure steam to supply nearby industries, should the demand materialise.

5. Gas fired power stations produce less than half of the carbon emissions of traditional coal fired stations.

Department of Energy and Climate Change
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