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Lincolnshire power station approved 

Words: Laura Edgar
Alok Sharma / Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Energy secretary Alok Sharma has granted a development consent order (DCO) for an open-cycle gas turbine power station at South Killingholme in North Lincolnshire.

Considered under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure (NSIP) regime, the decision was in line with the recommendation made by the examining authority, the Planning Inspectorate. 

The application form explains that the development will comprise an onshore gas-fired electricity generating station with a gross capacity of up to 299MW, together with associated development, including access works, open storage areas; staff welfare facilities, vehicle parking and roads. 

There will also be gas supply connection works for an underground and overground gas pipeline of approximately 800 metres in length. 

VPI Immingham B Ltd will build the gas-fired power station at its site along Rosper Road to the north of Immingham. VPI Immingham CHP Plant is within the same site.

Sharma noted that the development is intended to operate as “a peaking plant, providing a flexible back-up for intermittent renewable energy”. The inspector concluded that it is in accordance with the guidance in Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy and the National Policy Statement for Fossil Fuel Electricity Generating Infrastructure.

Both the inspector and the energy secretary were agreed that “substantial weight” should be attributed to the contribution the development would make towards meeting the national need demonstrated by the Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy. Also, as a peaking plant it would “positively contribute towards a secure, flexible energy supply facilitating the roll-out of renewable energy”, and therefore would be "assisting with the decarbonisation of the economy in line with the UK’s legal obligations in the Paris Agreement". 

Sharma concluded that there would not be a significant effect on air quality, flood risks have been considered “appropriately”, that the limited visual impact from the erection of the stack should be given limited weight. He accepted that ecological features would be significantly impacted. He noted the “inevitable increase in greenhouse gases arising from the development but considers that this is outweighed by its contribution to a secure and responsive energy supply which will facilitate the roll out of increased levels of renewable energy”.

The secretary of state’s decision letter and all other documents relating to the development can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s website. 

Image credit | Foreign and Commonwealth Office