Centrica pulls the plug on Barrow biomass
Last updated at 16:52, Thursday, 25 October 2012
CENTRICA has announced it is scrapping plans for a biomass plant in Barrow and withdrawing its existing gas plant from service.
The energy company announced yesterday afternoon it will not be proceeding with plans for an 80MW biomass power station at Roosecote.
And staff at the existing gas plant have been informed that it will be withdrawn from service, leaving the future of the plant uncertain.
Centrica have said the decision was taken after the government clarified its position on biomass.
Centrica Energy spokesman Alan McLaughlin said: “Over the past 12 months, Centrica Energy has been exploring the potential for a new biomass power station at Roosecote, which we hoped could provide renewable energy to power 125,000 homes.
“Consultation with the local community has been a central part of developing our proposals, and we have been pleased that so many local people have engaged with us directly to discuss their views – both positive and negative.
“Throughout this time, we have also been talking to the government to clarify energy policy. Our understanding is that future policy will favour co-firing (biomass and coal burned together) and conversion of coal fired power stations rather than dedicated biomass projects, so we have made the difficult decision not to proceed with this proposal.
“While we will not progress our plans for a biomass power station at Roosecote, we remain a committed local employer and will be continuing our investment in the North West’s Energy Coast.”
Plans for the power station were initially revealed in 2008. Centrica said more than 500 construction jobs and 50 permanent jobs would be created.
However, many residents aired their opposition to the plans at a meeting at Roose Primary in April and a petition against the proposals gained more than 14,000 signatures.
Campaigners travelled to Downing Street with the petition and Barrow MP John Woodcock, Barrow Borough Council and Cumbria County Council all said they could not support the plans.
The company also confirmed that it will be withdrawing the existing gas-fired power station from service as it continues to consider its options, which include permanent closure, the sale of the asset or redevelopment.
A small team responsible for putting the plant into a safe state of preservation will remain on site, while others will take up roles elsewhere in the company or leave the business voluntarily.
Seventeen people work at the plant and Centrica said there will be no compulsory redundancies at this time.
The plant at Roosecote was initially opened as a coal power station in the 1950s and was closed in 1986.
In 1990, construction began on the gas plant and less than two years later, Roosecote was commissioned, becoming the first Independent Power Project since the privatisation of the UK electricity industry in 1990.
First published at 16:19, Thursday, 25 October 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
That's it, then.
Small 'tweaks' to the planning application and Hey-presto!....
power to the people, for once we have been listened to and it feels goooood!!!
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