Proud Welsh Power Launches a Pounds 600m Gas Project for Fleetwood
By Aled Blake
WELSH POWER today announces plans to build a gas power station in north-west England.
The Newport-headquartered energy producer says it intends building a pounds 600mcombined-cycle gas turbine north of Blackpool, similar to the power station it is developing at Uskmouth.
Welsh Power has secured a 35- acre tract of brownfield land for the development in a deal with NPL Estates. The site is located near Fleetwood, and is about 50 miles from Manchester, and five miles from the Irish Sea.
The plant will be modelled on Severn Power, which is being built by Welsh Power at its Uskmouth site near Newport.
Gas will be supplied to the Lancashire power station from the National Transmission System and there is 800MW spare capacity at the nearby Stanah substation, facilitating an early grid connection. Welsh Power has applied to National Grid for a connection date of October 2012.
It is expected that the development will create 650jobs during construction, with 40 highly skilled permanent jobs once the power station is in operation.
Alex Lambie, chief executive of Welsh Power, said: “Given the small number of sites connecting to the national grid this is a major milestone in the continuing expansion of the Welsh Power Group.
“As we have demonstrated with the development of Severn Power, Welsh Power prides itself on being a good neighbour, and we will ensure that Wyre Power contributes to the local economy and benefits local people. In particular we will be looking to ensure that contracts are placed locally wherever possible.”
The plans for the Lancashire power station follow consent being given to build a gas pipeline to serve the Uskmouth power station.
Welsh Power says it will use the latest below-ground techniques designed to minimise the impact on the environment.
The 6km gas pipeline, referred to as the Marshfield to Uskmouth pipeline, will be installed between a new above-ground installation (AGI) at Marshfield and the Severn Power station, passing under the River Usk.
It will be constructed from welded steel pipe and will be buried up to 30mbelow the surface for its entire length, using a technique known as horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to minimise disruption to farming and prevent disturbance of important local wildlife habitats. SGTL has appointed an environmental liaison officer to oversee the construction of the project.
Mr Lambie said: “The construction of Severn Power is progressing on schedule, and we are delighted to have this important planning consent in place.
“This further strengthens parent company Welsh Power’s position as a growing integrated independent power company and developer; and helps us contribute to the Welsh Assembly Government’s aim of energy self-sufficiency for Wales as well as boosting the local economy.
“This has been a very carefully planned part of the project due to the environmentally sensitive areas that the pipe must pass under. We will be drilling horizontally up to 30m under the ground so as not to damage the SSSI areas.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the statutory consultees on working with us to balance development and environmental protection by looking for pragmatic solutions.”
The plant is being built on the site of the former Uskmouth A coal-fired power station on the banks of the River Usk.
Uskmouth Power will continue to operate alongside the proposed CCGT power station. Severn Power a wholly owned subsidiary of Welsh Power Group, a private power company which also owns Uskmouth Power. Severn Power is due to start commercial operation in 2010 following a 30-month construction period and four months of commissioning.
The plant is being developed by engineering giant Siemens, which has been contracted to oversee the design, engineering, construction, commissioning, testing and completion, operation of the combined- cycle gas-turbine plant.
That deal, struck at the start of the year, follows the award of planning permission for the project by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform in August 2007.
Last December, Severn Power mandated three banks, Calyon, ING and the Royal Bank of Scotland, to lead, arrange and underwrite up to pounds 550mdebt financing in support of the development.
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