10 October 2013 – Statutory consultation to begin on £200m power plant proposal for Hirwaun

Public exhibitions in five locations
Leaflet to all households, businesses and civic groups

Statutory consultation on a proposed gas-fired power plant on the Hirwaun Industrial Estate in Rhondda Cynon Taf begins this month (October 2013).

Hirwaun Power Ltd (HPL), a UK power plant development company, will hold its consultation on the £200m proposal between 17th October and 28th November 2013.

HPL has produced a Statement of Community Consultation, detailing the pre-application consultation programme. It includes a number of exhibition events, which will be an opportunity for local people and interested organisations to see the plans and give their views on the proposals. Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council (RCT) has been consulted on the programme.

An informal and non-statutory round of consultation was held in June this year, when the outline proposal was presented to communities during several public exhibition events that were attended by 98 people.

The statutory consultation will show how the project has developed since then in the light of community feedback, engagement with RCT and authorities such as Natural Resource Wales, and the company’s own technical and environmental studies.

The proposed Hirwaun Power Project would produce up to 299 megawatts (MW) of electricity – the equivalent of supplying 400,000 homes – would represent a significant multi million pound investment into the local economy. The project would support up to 250 jobs during the 2-3 year construction and commissioning period, and up to 15 full-time jobs when operational.

Hirwaun Power’s Project director Norman Campbell said, “Consultation with local communities and organisations is vitally important to us. It provides us with an opportunity to explain our project in detail and get feedback to help with the development of our proposals. Our initial phase of consultation in June gave us the chance to communicate directly with local people and we were pleased with the interest shown.

“We will now explain how the project has moved forward in recent months and provide more detailed information. For example, we have further developed our proposals relating to the siting and design of the power plant. In doing so, we have also taken steps to minimise the environmental and visual impact of the project.

“If the proposals are realised, the power plant would be ultra-modern and a very significant investment in the local economy. The project would directly create new jobs and provide opportunities for a variety of other local companies to supply and support the operation and maintenance of the power station in the future.

“We hope that as many people as possible will attend our public exhibition days, or see the information we have made available on the project website and at certain local libraries. We will advertise the formal consultation in local media and also distribute more than 4,000 leaflets in the area surrounding the site.”

At the end of the consultation period HPL plans to submit an application for a Development Consent Order to the UK’s Planning Inspectorate, with a final decision taken by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Subject to the consultation and planning process and financing, the power station could enter commercial operation in 2018.

Public exhibition events will be held as follows:

PUBLIC EXHIBITIONS
Thursday 24 October 13:00 – 19:00
Rhigos Community Centre, Heol Esgyn, Rhigos, Aberdare, CF44 9BX
Friday 25 October 13:00 – 19:00
Hirwaun Community Centre, Village Hall, High Street, Hirwaun, CF44 9SL
Thursday, 7 November 13:00 – 19:00
Penderyn Community Centre, Pontpren, Penderyn, CF44 9JN
Friday 8 November 13:00 – 19:00
Penywaun Community Centre, Gwladys Street, Penywaun, CF44 9DE
Saturday 9 November, 10:00 – 15:00
Aberdare Community Parish Hall, Monk Street, Aberdare, CF44 7PA

For further information on the project visit: www.hirwaunpower.co.uk.

Ends

For further information contact the Hirwaun Power press office on 0800 9589015or alternatively email info@www.hirwaunpower.co.uk

Notes to editors:
Hirwaun Power Ltd (HPL) (www.hirwaunpower.co.uk) has been established by Watt Power Ltd. (WPL). WPL based in Edinburgh has been established to develop a portfolio of flexible gas fired generation assets to support the UK Government drive to a low carbon economy.
WPL are committed to the development of well sited, sustainable energy projects that are designed to meet the specific needs of the evolving UK energy market. They recognise the need to balance commercial issues with the environmental benefits and concerns of energy projects and believe this can be responsibly delivered at a local level.
HPL and Watt are committed to acting in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. As part of this policy, we will ensure that the views and concerns of the local community are addressed, and that the Power Project and supporting infrastructure is designed and developed to the highest quality, safety and environmental standards.
For further details please visit: www.wattpowerltd.co.uk.