23 July 2015 – Hirwaun Power secures planning permission – new gas fired power station approved by government

Hirwaun Power Ltd has secured consent from the Department of Energy & Climate Change for its £200m gas-fired power station project, near Aberdare in south Wales.  Subject to raising the necessary finance, it will enter commercial operation in 2019.  It will operate as a “peaking plant”, providing back-up to intermittent renewable generation and create 150 construction jobs, and up to 15 permanent and skilled jobs.

To be located on part of the Hirwaun Industrial Estate which lies adjacent to the A465 “Heads of the Valleys” dual carriageway between Swansea and Abergavenny, the Hirwaun Power project will produce up to 299 megawatts (MW) of electricity, the equivalent of supplying 400,000 homes.

It represents a significant investment into the local economy and will give rise to multi-million pound construction and supply chain contracts, support 150 jobs over the two year construction and commissioning period, and up to 15 full-time jobs when operational.

Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for the Department of Energy & Climate Change granted planning permission to the Hirwaun project after a 2½ year public consultation and examination process.

Norman Campbell, Project Director at Hirwaun Power said: “Securing the Goverrnment’s approval for the project is very good news for the Hirwaun team and the local economy. We would expect our £200m scheme to provide a catalyst for further investment in the area. Importantly, the project also helps to meet the Government’s policy objectives of security of energy supple and affordability and supports the country’s transition to a low carbon economy.

“The input that we received from the Rhondda Cynon Taff Council and the local community during the project’s public consultation process was very helpful, and we will liaise closely with the Council and other local interests during the project’s construction and eventual operation.

“However, despite the widespread acceptance that new generation plant is required and the considerable investment we have made so far, we must still secure the money to get the project built.  We expect to know whether or not we are successful in doing that by the middle of next year (2016).”