Kiran Stacey Eon scraps Kingsnorth plans

Eon has confirmed it is shelving its delayed plans to build a new coal energy plant at Kingsnorth.

The announcement means there will be no new coal plant as part of the CCS competition, the details of which will be announced by the chancellor today.

The company said it took the decision because current low power prices made the progect uneconomic. Paul Golby, chief executive of Eon UK, said:

Having postponed Kingsnorth last year, it has become clear that the economic conditions are still not right for us to progress the project and so, simply put, we have no power station on which to build a CCS demonstration.

But environmentalists will claim it as a victory, as it means no new coal power station. Nicolas Molho, head of energy policy at WWF-UK, said:

It’s great to see Eon unequivocally shelve Kingsnorth once and for all. Kingsnorth would only have had to install carbon capture and storage (CCS) equipment to 300MW of its 1600MW capacity, resulting in 80% of its CO2 emissions remaining uncapped. This would have been a disastrous setback for the UK given its need to decarbonise the power sector by 2030.

UPDATE: A government spokesperson has this to say:

CCS  has significant potential for demonstration and deployment in  the UK – we have some of the best CO2 storage sites in the world, as well as the unparalleled engineering expertise needed to make this technology work at commercial scale.

The Government is naturally disappointed that Eon has decided not proceed. Scottish Power remains in the procurement process.