Power station approved as steelworks viability boost

A gas-fired power station has been granted development consent at Port Talbot Steelworks in south Wales under the Planning Act 2008, following findings that it would help make the plant more competitive.

The project included two boilers and two steam turbine sets with a gross capacity of up to 150 megawatts, along with integral cooling units and twin 80-metre stacks. The power station would be fired predominately by residual gases produced by the steel-making process, which were currently flared, and would use imported natural gas as a back-up fuel.

The secretary of state for energy and climate change agreed with the examiner that the scheme was in line with the overarching national policy statement on energy and would contribute to meeting energy capacity requirements by reducing the need for electricity from the national grid. She also saw economic benefits in reducing costs at the steelworks, thus helping to make it more competitive.

She was satisfied that the development would not lead to a deterioration in the current status of any relevant water bodies in the river basin district under the EU water framework directive or prevent them achieving its future objectives. She also decided that an extremely small increase in nitrogen deposition from emissions would not undermine conservation objectives.

Examiner: Roger Eyre; Hearings

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