By Andrew Cavenagh
Up to six clean coal power generation projects could be proposed over the next 12 months.
The revival of interest in coal-fired generation follows last week’s announcement by RJB Mining and Texaco that they would carry out a feasibility study for a 400MW plant in west Yorkshire, and Labour’s commitment to introduce subsidies for such schemes if elected.
The RJB/Texaco scheme would use the latter’s integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology – which converts coal into a clean gas before feeding it into a combined-cycle gas turbine (CGGT) – but other IGCC technologies are being considered for the UK.
`There are four candidates who could make a case for subsidies from government for gasification schemes,’ said one industry expert.
He said the level of subsidy necessary had fallen, as designs now had a capital cost of $1,000-$1,100 per installed kilowatt against $2,300 for earlier systems -CCGTs range is between $350 and $500. RJB’s initial estimate for the unit cost of power is 3p/kWh, compared with the average pool price of 2.3p/kWh.
There are also at least two clean coal projects using fluidised-bed technology – which removes pollutants during combustion – which could be put forward.
Eastern is discussing the construction of a 400MW fluidised bed plant in south Wales with mining group Celtic Energy, while British Coal is looking to sell its `topping cycle’ pressurised fluidised bed technology to a private investor to take to the development stage.
Power games, page 12
Ford’s new sports coupe, the Puma, was conceived, designed and developed at Ford’s research and development facility at Dunton, Essex, simultaneously with Metternich in Germany. Assembled in Cologne, the radiators are made in Basildon, some electronics in Enfield and air-conditioning equipment will be made in Swansea.