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GOVERNMENT GIVES CONSENT FOR CONSTRUCTION OF BLACKBURN CHP STATION

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Energy and industry minister John Battle has given the go-ahead to Scottish Power plc to construct a 60 MW (megawat...
Energy and industry minister John Battle has given the go-ahead to Scottish Power plc to construct a 60 MW (megawatt) gas-fired combined heat and power generating station at the Sappi paper mill, Feniscowles, Blackburn, Lancashire.

CHP plants are designed to produce both electricity and usable heat. They have environmental benefits due to their very high levels of efficiency.

In a written answer to a parliamentary question, Mr Battle said:

'I have granted consent under s36 of the Electricity Act 1989 to Scottish Power plc for construction of a 60 MW gas-fired combined heat and power station at the Sappi paper mill at Feniscowles, near Blackburn, Lancashire. The station has also been given clearance as a gas-fired station under s14 of the Energy Act 1976 and planning permission has been deemed to be granted, subject to 52 planning conditions agreed with the Blackburn with Darwen BC and Lancashire CC. The decisions have been taken in accordance with the policy set out in the white paper entitled Conclusions of the review of energy sources for power generation and government response to fourth and fifth reports of the trade and industry committee (Cm 4071).'

Notes

1. The decision has been taken in accordance with the policy set out in the white paper entitled Conclusions of The review of energy sources for power generation and government response to fourth and fifth reports of the trade and industry committee' (Cm 4071) which was published on 8 October 1998.

2. The white paper made clear that a stricter consents policy would be 'short term, temporary and aimed specifically at protecting diversity and security of supply while distortions in the electricity market are removed.' The white paper set out a programme of work to address these distortions. This covers:

- reform of the electricity trading arrangements in England and Wales; seeking practical opportunities for divestment by major coal-fired generators; pressing ahead with competition in electricity supply for all customers; separating supply and distribution in electricity markets; resolving the technical issues about the growth

of gas, including the proper remuneration of flexible plant; and continuing to press for open energy markets in Europe.

3. The white paper also stated that the government expects the new consents policy to be relaxed as soon as it concludes that the reform programme has been undertaken and the distortions identified had been removed. Work on the reform programme is ongoing but it is too early to speculate at this time when this will be completed.

4. The consent to build and operate power stations is required under s36 of the Electricity Act 1989. Planning permission has been deemed to be granted under s90(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

5. Clearance was given under s14 of the Energy Act 1976. Section 14 empowers the secretary of state to regulate, for reasons of energy policy, the construction of new power stations to be fuelled by natural gas or by oil.

6. Eight CHP stations have been approved since publication of the energy white paper. These were, Hickson & Welch, Castleford, West Yorkshire; Shotton Paper Mill, North Wales; BP Grangemouth, Scotland; British Sugar, York; Kronospan, Wrexham; Kimberly-Clark, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria; Enron, Seal Sands, Middlesbrough; and

Michelin Tyres, Stoke-on-Trent.

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