By Max Clarke

Wales is set to gain a new power plant with the potential to provide electricity to 1.4 million homes, as Energy Minister Charles Hendry today gave the go-ahead for Scottish and Southern Energy plc. (SSE) to build an 870 megawatt gas-fired power station near Port Talbot.
The Abernedd Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Plant will be built at the Baglan Bay Energy Park, on the former site of a chemicals facility.

“This new power station will bring jobs and industry back to this disused site and will provide a boost to the nation’s energy security.” Said Charles Hendry:

“Gas is the cleanest and most reliable fossil fuel and it will continue to be a central part in the country’s energy mix during the transition to a low carbon economy.

“Long-term there is also a major opportunity for gas power stations like this to be fitted with abatement technology. This station will be built carbon capture ready, which means that eventually CO2 produced by the plant could be captured and transported for storage offshore.”

Gas has been increasingly turned to as a source of energy in the UK, and by 2025 it is expected to comprise 50% of the total UK energy demand. Prices for liquefied natural gas are also forecast to remain low in the intermediate future, depressed by an approximate 100% increase in production between 2005 and 2015. And following the Prime Minister’s announcement this morning to double bilateral trade with the world’s third largest gas producer, Qatar, gas has the potential for meeting this growing UK demand.

The Energy Minister today also gave SSE consent to retrofit its coal-plant in Fiddler’s Ferry, Warrington, with a selective catalytic reduction plant (SCR) to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides.

This will allow the company to fit SCR technology to the plant which would enable it to comply with new limit values for emissions of nitrogen oxides set under the EU Industrial Emissions Directive.