The King’s Lynn ‘B’ CCGT Power Station Project

EP UK Power Development Limited, a subsidiary of EP (UK) Investments, acquired the King’s Lynn ‘B’ Power Station site at the Willows in King’s Lynn (the ‘Site’) from Centrica in 2017. The Site already had consent (granted in 2009) for a gas-fired power station. Centrica continue to operate the adjacent King’s Lynn ‘A’ Power Station.

EP (UK) Investments owns and operates a number of power stations in the UK, including a 2,000-megawatt (‘MW’) coal-fired power station at Eggborough in North Yorkshire (where consent for a new 2,500 MW gas-fired power station was granted in September 2018) as well as the Langage and South Humber Bank power stations (also acquired from Centrica in 2017) and Lynemouth Power Station, which is being converted to biomass.

In April 2018 we applied to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under Section 36C of the Electricity Act 1989 to vary the 2009 King’s Lynn ‘B’ consent (the ‘2009 Consent’) and allow us to deploy the latest gas-fired power station technology at the Site.

The Variation Consent

The application to vary the 2009 Consent (the ‘Variation Application’) was submitted to the Secretary of State on 6 April 2018. The Secretary of State confirmed that Variation Application was suitable for publication on 30 April 2018.  Following this EPUKPD Ltd carried out the required notifications and publicity for the Variation Application.  The statutory period for submitting comments to the Secretary of State expired on 10 June 2018.

The full Variation Application, including the plans and the Environment Impact Assessment Report can be viewed here.

Prior to submitting the Variation Application, we consulted with the local community, which involved holding a number of consultation events in early 2018. The materials from the consultation events can be found here and a description of how we took account of the comments received is provided in the Variation Application, within the Supporting Statement.

On 6 December 2018 the Secretary of State granted the Variation Consent. The Secretary of State’s decision was published on 10 December 2018. A copy of the decision can be found here.

Notice of the Secretary of State’s decision was published in the London Gazette on 14 December 2018 and in local newspapers on 14 and 21 December 2018. The notice can be viewed here.

Project Overview

The 2009 Consent allowed for the construction of a gas-fired power station of around 1,020 MW,  and was implemented by Centrica.  However, since that consent was granted there have been significant advances in gas-fired power station technology, notably in relation to the combined cycle gas turbine (‘CCGT’) units that are used.  The latest CCGT units available on the market are much more efficient than those that were available in 2009 and are able to achieve a significantly greater electrical output.

We therefore took the decision to apply to vary the 2009 Consent so that the latest generation of CCGT units could be deployed at the Site to allow us to construct a power station with an electrical output of up to 1,700 MW, enough to supply the electricity needs of over 1.7 million homes.  The Variation Consent will also allow us to  construct and operate a flexible Open Cycle Gas Turbine (‘OCGT’) plant at the Site.  OCGT plants are particularly well suited to responding to changes in supply and demand on the electricity transmission network, having the capability to start up rapidly, providing back up to other types of generation such as intermittent wind generation.

Section 36C of the Electricity Act 1989 allows for the variation of existing power station consents.  However, variation applications must still be accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment (‘EIA’) Report fully documenting the EIA undertaken for the proposed development.  EP UKPD Ltd included an EIA Report as part of its application, including a Non-Technical Summary.

Project Timeline

  • Consultation on the proposals – January 2018
  • Submission of the Variation Application to Secretary of State – 6 April 2018
  • Decision by Secretary of State on whether the Variation Application was ‘suitable for publication’ – confirmed as suitable on 30 April      2018
  • Publication on the project website and within a national newspaper, local newspapers and other publications that the application is      ‘suitable for publication’ and issue of notices (and copies of the application documents) to consultees – 4 & 11 May 2018
  • Deadline for submission of comments to the Secretary of State – 10 June 2018
  • Variation Consent granted by the Secretary of State  – 6 December 2018
  • Notification of grant of Consent – 14 & 21 December 2018.

Information on the process for varying Section 36 consents can be found here.

Subject to a final investment decision being made, work on the new power station could start in 2019, with it being operational by 2022.

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