Ayrshire Power Limited (APL) has dropped its controversial plans for a new coal-fired power station with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology at Hunterston in Scotland.
The company also announced in a statement that it would be withdrawing from CCS demonstration project funding competitions.
The decision reflects the current uncertainty over securing the necessary financial investment to build the facility, says APL.
“Whilst we believe we have a strong case to succeed in the planning inquiry, we cannot proceed with the significant risk that the current power station design and fuel mix could not be funded and built in the necessary timetable,” commented APL’s project director, Muir Miller.
However, he added that the scheme could have given Scotland an opportunity to lead the development of commercial-scale CCS and would have been ideally placed at Scotland’s largest coal terminal, where it would have created a number of new jobs.
“We still believe that new coal-fired power stations fitted with carbon capture and storage will play an important part in plugging the energy gap until alternative sources of low carbon energy can replace fossil fuels,” Miller said. “Hunterston remains an ideal location for such a power station. However, the timing of the economic slowdown and funding uncertainty have not worked in our favour.”
Miller says APL will now consider its options and determine under what conditions it might revisit the proposals.
But environmental groups including WWF Scotland have reacted with delight to the change in plans.
“This was always the wrong application in the wrong place,” says director Richard Dixon. “Scotland has huge renewable energy resources and several promising sites to try out carbon capture. The last thing we need is a new coal-fired power station hiding behind a green figleaf.”
The proposals received over 22,000 objections from the local community and North Ayrshire Council.
The decision to withdraw the application comes, in fact, just after dates for a public inquiry had been set following the high number of objections.
APL’s decision to drop out of the race for a CCS demonstration project in the UK is just the latest in a series, including Longannet in Fife and Kingsnorth in Kent.
For further information:
BOC latest to take stake in 2Co Energy’s CCS project (14-Jun)
World’s largest CCS demonstration project opens in Norway (9-May)
Samsung takes stake in 2Co Energy’s UK CCS project (29-Mar)
Foster Wheeler Energy to lead 2Co Power’s CCS project (2-Feb)
28 June 2012