E.ON shelves Kingsnorth plans

E.ON is shelving plans for a new ‘cleaner’ coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent due to the recession and decreased demand for electricity.

The German energy giant will defer an investment decision on the Kingsnorth proposals for two to three years.

A spokesperson for the company said: ‘This is based on the global recession, which has pushed back the need for new plant in the UK to around 2016 because of the reduction in demand for electricity.’

E.ON had proposed replacing existing coal-fired units at Kingsnorth with ones using supercritical technology.

Supercritical plants run more efficiently by using extremely hot steam. While dozens of countries are building these less polluting and more efficient coal-fired plants, the UK currently has none.

E.ON stated its plans to suspend the roll-out of supercritical technology do not affect other emission-reduction projects.

In a statement, E.ON said it is still committed to the development of cleaner coal and carbon capture and storage, and added: ‘We believe these have a key role to play, alongside renewables, gas and nuclear, in tackling the global threat of climate change while ensuring affordability and security of energy supplies.’

Earlier this year, The Engineer reported the construction of supercritical plants face an uphill battle in the UK because their current response time fails to meet the National Grid Code, which governs the ability to meet excess demand.

The problem has the potential to hamper any future plans to bring supercritical plants to Kingsnorth or anywhere else in the UK.

E.ON is currently supporting a project to address the issue with engineers at BirminghamUniversity and Scottish Power Generation.