Energy minister, Charles Hendry, will today (August 4) sign off on US based InterGen’s proposals for the 900MW gas power plant.

InterGen already runs an 800MW gas-fired power station about 1km east of the proposed site.

The new plant, to be sited not far from Lakeside shopping centre in Thurrock, will feature two Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGTs) each capable of generating around 450MW in capacity.

According to the Government the station will be built ‘carbon capture ready’, implying that when a functional Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) it’ll will be installed but no time frame is mentioned.

Thurrock has a long history with deprivation and unemployment and the move is aimed at boosting the local economy and supplying additional power to newly planned homes and businesses in the area.

The power station will be called The Gateway Energy Centre Mr Hendry claims it will play an important part in expansion plans in the area which will see the Port of Tilbury expanded and a 500+ lorry park built.

However, the plans have yet to get planning permission and were the subject of a 1200 signature petition presented to the local authority Thurrock Council earlier this year.

Mr Hendry, who is touring the proposed site today, said: “With a quarter of our electricity generating capacity shutting down over the next ten years as older plants close, new power stations like this will play a crucial part in the country’s energy mix as we make a move towards a low carbon economy.

“I am particularly pleased to see the proposals for 11 skilled apprenticeships and the training and vocational facilities at the site.”

Gateway Energy Centre project manager, Peter Lo, added: “The proposed site is ideally located on land already allocated for commercial and industrial use and is in close proximity to National Grid’s natural gas and electrical transmission systems.”

The plant would take about three years to build and the Government believe it could create 600 jobs during the construction period.

Luke Walsh

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