UK's SSE proposes 2-GW combined cycle gas plant at Ferrybridge site

London (Platts)--10 Jan 2018 448 pm EST/2148 GMT

SSE has proposed construction of a 2-GW combined cycle gas-fired power station at its Ferrybridge site in Knottingley, West Yorkshire, the UK utility confirmed Wednesday.

  • Application set for Q1 2019 submission
  • Site needs 9-km gas pipe connection
  • Joins queue of in-development CCGTs

It plans to submit an application to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in the first quarter of 2019, the utility said.

"Pre-application consultation events are being planned for the local area giving members of the community the opportunity to view the proposals and provide feedback on the plans," SSE said.

The proposed development would include two CCGT units plus a "black start" or peaking plant comprising one or more gas turbines or engines, SSE's scoping document showed.

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Cooling water would be extracted from the River Aire, as was the case for the now-closed Ferrybridge C coal plant on the same site.

Associated development includes a gas supply pipeline to the grid at Feeder 29 near the village of Gateforth, 9 km (5.6 miles) north of the site.

"Studies are being undertaken to establish the most suitable gas pipeline route to connect the proposed plant to the national gas grid," SSE told S&P Global Platts. "Further details of these proposals will be shared during the consultation."

Once submitted, the planning authorities have 28 days to decide whether to accept SSE's proposal.

As the project is at an early stage and has not pre-qualified for the upcoming T-4 capacity market auction for delivery in 2020-21, the CCGT is unlikely to be online before 2022.

The UK already has upwards of 15 GW of fully approved CCGT capacity, none of which is likely to proceed without a 15-year new build capacity market contract.

Among these projects are two being developed by SSE, Abernedd Power in Baglan Bay, south Wales, and Keadby 2, in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire.

Some 23 GW of newbuild generation of all types has pre-qualified for the UK's T-4 2021-22 capacity market auction, to be held in late January.

Of this, around 11.4 GW is transmission-connected CCGT, according to Platts Analytics.

SSE's project, to be known as Ferrybridge D, is being put forward as part of redevelopment of the generation site, which has been supplying power since the 1920s.

The utility said it was finalizing plans to demolish Ferrybridge C, the 1960s coal plant closed in March 2016. That work is expected to start this year.

Meanwhile, SSE is co-owner with Wheelabrator of two multi-fuel waste-burning generation units on land adjacent to the Ferrybridge C station site. The 68-MW Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 unit began operation in 2015.

The second unit, with a 70 MW capacity, is under construction and heading for third quarter of 2019 completion.

On January 5, the UK government forecast a need for around 7.5 GW of new thermal plant -- combined cycle and open cycle plant -- between 2018 and 2025.

The amount could rise to 12 GW under a security stress test, the Department of Energy and Industrial Strategy said. The figures were produced in response to the government's intention to close the UK's remaining 13 GW of coal-fired generation capacity by 2025.

--Henry Edwardes-Evans,
--Edited by Jonathan Dart,

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