Firing on a new lease of life

Eggborough power station was built in 1970 in the days when coal was still king in Yorkshire.

Today work is underway to develop a new gas-fired power plant on the site near Selby after it was given the green light last month.

It marks the start of a new era for Eggborough, which announced its closure earlier this year.

Construction of the new gas fired power station could start as early as mid-2019, creating up to 1,200 construction jobs with a further 70 permanent  roles once the plant becomes operational.

The coal-fired operation had an expected life span of 25 years. Today it still supplies five per cent of the UK’s power.

Once operational, and that won’t happen until the early 2020s, the new Eggborough will have the same output, capable of  supplying the electricity needs of more than two million homes.

A new underground gas pipeline will be constructed to connect the power station to the UK’s natural gas transmission network.

James Crankshaw, head of engineering at plant operator EP UK Investments, said: “Eggborough has been a significant part of the UK energy landscape for over 40 years and this consent provides an opportunity for the site to continue to play a key role in both the local economy and in the security of electricity supplies nationally.”

The coal-fired station’s closure was announced in February, putting up to 200 jobs at risk.

It came after the station’s operators revealed it had failed to secure funding through the “capacity market” for 2018-2019. This is a process which pays suppliers to be available to provide electricity so the lights don’t go out.

Figures have also revealed that revenues have more than halved at the company that runs Eggborough as the decommissioning of the coal-fired power station begins.

For the 12 months ending December 31, the company reported revenues of £106m which is significantly lower than the £220m achieved at the same period the year before.

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