A proposal to build a new gas-fired power station on the Hirwaun Industrial Estate in Rhondda Cynon Taf is announced today (12 June 2013).
Hirwaun Power Ltd, a UK energy developer, says that its proposed scheme will inject tens of millions of pounds into the local economy.
The company will consult with local people and organisations before applying for permission to build the £200m power station. The project will support hundreds of jobs during the construction and commissioning period, and up to 30 full-time jobs when operational.
Hirwaun Power station will produce up to 299 megawatts (MW) of electricity – the equivalent of supplying 400,000 homes.
Consultation is a very important part of the planning process and Hirwaun Power will engage with local communities before applying for development consent to build the power station. An initial phase of public information events to introduce the project will be held at venues in Rhigos and Hirwaun on:
Rhigos Community Centre (Heol Esgyn, Rhigos, CF44 9BX)
Thursday, June 20th – 5.00pm till 8.00pm.
YMCA Hirwaun (Manchester Place, Hirwaun, CF44 9RB)
Friday, June 21st – 12 noon till 7.00pm.
Saturday, June 22nd – 09:00am till 1.00pm.
Members of the Hirwaun Power project team will be on hand at the exhibitions to explain the development procedure and how the consultation process is expected to evolve. As the project is at an early stage, there will be no drawings, artists’ impressions or models on display.
Hirwaun Power proposes to take gas from the nearby National Gas Transmission System and use it to generate electricity. This energy will feed into the National Grid, which also runs very close to the site.
Norman Campbell is the managing director of Watt Power, the parent company of Hirwaun Power and has principal responsibility for the project. He said “This power station will be an ultra modern and clean facility and a very significant investment in the local economy. We will seek to maximise local economic benefit, both during construction and operations. This will be achieved through direct job opportunities, and also indirectly through the various companies that will supply and support the power station in the future.
“This power station will cost approximately £200 million, and tens of millions of that investment would be spent with local companies. We are strongly committed to benefiting the local area and engaging companies and job seekers.”
He continued, “Before seeking permission to build the plant, there will be an extensive consultation process with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council and with local people and interest groups. This is extremely important to us, as we want to explain our plan in detail and listen to what people have to say.
Information material will be distributed to households, businesses and other organisations. There will also be a series of information days where people can meet the project team, ask questions and voice their opinion. We will advertise public consultations in local media and on the project website, www.hirwaunpower.co.uk.
Mr Campbell added that the proposed Hirwaun Power Plant would help to meet electricity demand for homes and workplaces.
“There is a need to replace a significant number of coal and oil-fired power stations in the UK that will close in the near future,” he said. “It is accepted that without new electricity generating capacity, there could be difficulty meeting energy demand in the UK within several years. In addition, gas fired power stations will provide back-up to the intermittency of onshore and offshore wind power and support Wales’ move towards a low carbon economy.
“The proposed Hirwaun Power Plant would be efficient and produce energy much more cleanly than the coal and oil-fired power stations it would replace. We will do our utmost to ensure that the power plant will cause the minimum disturbance locally, during construction and subsequent operation.
Mr Campbell said that Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council and the Welsh Government had been briefed on the proposal. Following consultation and feedback from communities and interest groups, Hirwaun Power intends to submit an application for a Development Consent Order to the UK’s Planning Inspectorate later this year, with a final decision taken by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Additional consents, including planning permissions, may also be required for elements of the project.
Subject to the consultation and planning process and financing, the power station could enter commercial operation in 2018.
For further information contact the Hirwaun Power press office on 02920 814843 or alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org
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