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For decades, the Humber has provided the UK with power in the form of coal, oil and gas thanks to its strategic coastal location. The Humber imports more than 30% of the UK's coal, which allows power stations to power 17% of the UK's electricity.
The region has strong links to the power creation sector and has a number of the major power stations in the UK. With the power stations in Yorkshire being vital to the UK's power demand the infrastructure around the power plants employs thousands of people whether it is operating the plants or transporting the feedstock to run the plants. Over the next few years the power plant industry in Yorkshire is facing a number of challenges such as closures due to costs and environmental impacts, but this has led to new and exciting technology in the plants to produce cleaner and cheaper power.
The power station operated by Eggborough Power Ltd is a coal burning plant and it is able to produce 2000MW which is enough to power 2 million homes. The power station was expected to be shut down by the end of March 2016 but in February 2017 it was announced that it would stay operational until March 2018 but if the power station wins more contracts it could be operational until 2023 when the plant would be forced to close under EU emissions legislation but with the UK coming out of the EU this isn’t a guaranteed date. In August 2016 a proposal to build a new gas-fired power station on the existing site was announced and it would produce 2,000 MW when completed in 2022. The project is currently at the consultation stage.Key Stats:
On the site of the old Thorpe Marsh power station The Department of Energy approved plans on 31st October 2011 to build up to a 1,500 MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine and 100MW open cycle gas turbine power station expected to give around 60% efficiency. The plant needs a pipeline to transport gas to the plant. The pipeline will be a 19.1 km long (approx.) buried gas pipeline running from Camblesforth to Barnby Dun to provide fuel to the Thorpe Marsh Power Station. The plant for the pipeline are currently being considered.Key Stats:
Completed in 2004 and expanded in 2009, VPI Immingham is a combined heat and power (CHP) plant near Immingham, on the South Bank of the river Humber. The station was developed and built by ConocoPhillips but in 2013 Vitol bought the site. The plant is one of the cleanest and most efficient power plant in Europe. Also it is one of the largest of its kind in Europe, capable of generating 1,240 MW – about 2.5% of UK peak electricity demand and up to 930 tonnes of steam per hour, which is used by nearby oil refineries to turn crude oil into products such as gasoline. The plant is powered by natural gas and surplus refinery gas with liquid fuel as backup.Key stats:
The Ferrybridge Power Station was a coal fired plant but due to a number of reasons it closed on the 23 March 2016. This was due to rising costs of operating and maintaining a 48 year old plant and also the plant not meeting environmental legislation in terms of emissions produced. To replace the power station SSE started a partnership with Wheelabrator Technologies to build and run a multi-fuel power station(FM1) on land near the old power station. The plant produces electricity by burning a variety of waste products including wood and industrial waste. Construction of the new power station started in October 2012 and cost around £300m. The plant became operational in July 2015. Due to the success of the plant, plans for a second plant(FM2) are underway and the Secretary of State granted planning permission in October 2015. FM2 could burn 675,000 tonnes of waste per year.Key Stats on Multi-Fuel 1:
Saltend Cogeneration Company Ltd is a power station located on the Saltend site. The power plant is one of the largest, most efficient natural gas-fired electric power generating facilities in England and is well placed to compete in the UK power market. As a cogeneration facility, the power station provides electricity and steam for Saltend Chemicals Park and the balance of the plant’s output is sold into the deregulated UK power market.Key Stats:
Energy Works will be a power station located on the River Hull. The power station will generate sufficient electricity to power approximately 43,000 homes. The plant will run by incinerating sustainable waste products to heat up water to create steam to power a turbine which will generate the electricity. The waste products that will be used will be waste that would otherwise go to landfill. When the site becomes operational in 2018, about 25 people will be employed to operate the plant and in the construction phase, over 150 jobs will be created. The plant is located in an area of Hull which has not seen a lot of investment over recent years and it is hoped that this project will start the regeneration of the area. The waste will be transported to the site by road and it is hoped that barges can be used on the River Hull.
Energy Works will work with the University of Hull in providing two postgraduate study opportunities for students in renewable energy.
Drax power station is comprised of 6 units and each of the units can produce 660MW when burning coal meaning that as a whole it can produce 4,000MW which means Drax is the biggest power station in the UK. In 2013 upgraded the first of three power generating units to accept compressed wood pellets to burn to generate electricity. The pellets are transported to Drax by train from the ports of Hull and Immingham. The outcome of burning the pellets rather than the normal feedstock of coal, is the reduction of CO2 released. In 2014 the second power generating unit is upgraded to take the wood burning pellets. Also, in 2014 construction of four large storage domes was completed to store about 75,000 tonnes of wood pellets.Key Stats: