Government approves new gas power station in South Humberside

The secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) Alok Sharma has approved plans for a new 300MW gas power station at Immingham near Grimsby.

An impression of the planned new gas-fired power station - image: Vitol Group
An impression of the planned new gas-fired power station - image: Vitol Group

Due to its scale, the plant and associated development including gas and electrical connections is classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, requiring a development consent order (DCO) under the Planning Act 2008.

It its approval letter issued on 7 August, BEIS head of energy infrastructure planning Gareth Leigh writes: "The secretary of state agrees with [the Planning Inspectorate examining authority report of 7 May 2020] that substantial weight should be attributed to the contribution that the development would make towards meeting the national need demonstrated by the Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy (EN-1) and that as a peaking plant it would positively contribute towards a secure, flexible energy supply facilitating the roll out of renewable energy."

The new power station will occupy around two hectares adjacent to the existing VPI Immingham combined heat and power plant, with which the proposed plant would share a gas supply.

Of an open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) type, it will generate up to 300 MW gross when complete, according to the applicant. OCGT power stations "are extremely flexible, capable of rapid start up, and are therefore able to respond to shortfalls on the grid, usually at times of peak demand", the project website says.

The DCO process is administered on behalf of the secretary of state by the Planning Inspectorate.

Its chief executive Sarah Richards said: "The Planning Inspectorate has again demonstrated its ability to examine Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) within timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008 providing developers and investors with the confidence to build and improve the infrastructure this country needs to secure future economic growth."

Like the existing CHP plant, the new power station will be owned and run by Dutch-based energy company Vitol Group.

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