July 29, 2008

Langage is Still Running on Schedule


Business Editor

THE pounds400million Langage Power Station development is still on course for its projected grand opening in spring next year, says the company which will operate it.

The support frame for the central tower at the massive development near Plympton is almost complete, according to Centrica.

Construction of the gas-fired plant started in autumn 2006, and there are now about 1,000 people working on the site.

The structure of the power station has been taking shape over the past few months, and bosses say they are still on course to begin electricity production early next year.

Rhys Jones, corporate affairs manager for Centrica, said: "We're still on track for the plant to be operational in early 2009.

"The support frame for the central tower is now at its final height, and the exhaust is going to be inserted shortly", he said.

"Everything's going to plan."

Construction work was at 'a peak' this month, he said, with both gas-fired turbines having been installed. The new central tower can be seen taking shape from all around the site.

After the construction work is finished, the power station will enter a commissioning phase later this year where it will be tested to make sure it is ready to start generating electricity.

Mr Jones said that factors such as the credit crunch had not been affecting the work.

"We don't believe the credit crunch and fuel crisis have affected production", he said. "We're on schedule, and construction hasn't been impacted by either of those developments.

"At the moment, there are about 1,000 construction workers on site. When complete, the power station will employ 40 full-time staff.

"The nature of the current global energy market has shown just how important it is for British companies like Centrica to invest for this country's future energy requirements."

When it is up and running, the power station will be able to supply the energy needs of more than one million homes, and Centrica says it believes Langage will meet 11 per cent of the country's overall peak residential energy demand.

Langage will be the first major power generation facility to be built in the UK for five years, as the previous generation of nuclear and coal-fired stations are slowly being retired.

Tony Jarvis, Langage project manager for Centrica Energy, said: "Centrica's investment programme in Langage and other power generating projects will be fundamental to meeting future electricity demand as the UK's existing power generating assets are gradually phased out."

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