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450 new jobs hope for Eggborough power station
9:14am Wednesday 18th April 2012 in Jobs News
THE owners of a Selby area power station say they are hoping to create 450 jobs if their plans for a new biomass plant get the go-ahead – but warn the alternative could be closure.
Eggborough Power Station Ltd (EPL) has applied for permission to build new facilities and storage which would allow it to generate more renewable energy through burning raw materials alongside coal.
The firm has said the scheme, submitted to Selby District Council, would safeguard existing jobs and potentially lead to hundreds of construction roles, with the expansion being accommodated within the power station’s current boundaries.
It said that without “significant investment” in this area, the site would not meet industrial emissions rules and would have to “slowly wind down to closure”. But it said approval would allow it to continue operating for at least the next 15 years.
The proposals have been drawn up two months after Drax Power scrapped its plans to build a dedicated biomass plant at its nearby power station, choosing to focus on increasing its “co-firing” capacity – burning both biomass and coal – instead.
A design and access statement by Parsons Brinckerhoff and Dalton Warner Davis, the agents for EPL’s scheme, said Eggborough already fired a “small amount” of biomass with coal and the new facilities would cover a 50,000-metre area of the site.
It said: “The proposed increase in biomass co-firing is vital in ensuring the continuity of electricity supply as the country moves towards a lower-carbon economy in a manner which is socially and environmentally feasible.
“EPL has advised this will safeguard up to 750 direct and indirect jobs covered in the operation and maintenance of the power station and prolong the positive economic impact it has on the local and regional economy. During the construction period, there will be about 450 additional personnel on the site, and this employment will add further economic activity to Selby and the region in the form of demand for local supplies of accommodation, labour and services.
“There will also be the wider economic benefit of the continued provision of reliable energy supply from Eggborough.”
The agents said the new facilities would have little visual impact on the area and nearby heritage sites and none of the storage domes or silos would be more than 50 metres high, less than half the size of Eggborough’s cooling towers. A decision is expected in June.