CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a £2bn clean-coal power station in Northumberland have been put on the back burner by a leading energy company, it was revealed last night.
RWE npower announced it is shelving temporarily its bid to develop the 200-job plant on the site of the former Blyth Power Station in the coastal village of Cambois.
The company , who unveiled the proposal almost three years ago, said it will not be making a formal planning application to build the 2,400 megawatt plant, which would be capable of powering 3.5m homes.
It plans to retain the Cambois site for a potential future power station development, but claims the time is not right for such a massive investment.
Environmental campaigners have strongly opposed the project.
Last night Dave Carlton, the company’s project manager, said it continued “to see the site as an important one, both for RWE npower and in terms of the UK’s future power generation”.
And he added: “The existing infrastructure on site makes it ideal for power generation.
“We will continue to discuss any plans we have for the area with local people and the relevant local authorities.”
Opponents argue that no new coal-fired plants, including the one at Cambois, should be built until carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has been properly developed.
Last night, Malcolm Reid of Hexham, coordinator of People Against New Coal Stations, said the group had anticipated the RWE npower announcement.
He said: “We would now like to see Northumberland County Council redesignate the Cambois site for green, clean technology, to match what is happening at the New and Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth.
“It is a perfect area for a factory for offshore wind turbines and housing development. If Cambois is re-designated then the prospect of the area being regenerated rises colossally.”