Printer Friendly

Carbon capture plant raises FoE hackles; At forefront of European technology, or just a waste?

Byline: Peter Collins

A SOUTH Wales power station has been given the go-ahead to test a carbon capture plant as part of the global effort to reduce the environmental damage of burning fossil fuels. Despite concerns expressed by some environmentalists, the development at Aberthaw power station has now been granted planning permission by councillors in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The plant will be built on a small site in the centre of the power station complex and operate for five years before being decommissioned.

It will deal with a small proportion of the carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide emissions from the coal-burning power station and is seen as a way of testing the latest technology.

The plant will take 1% of the flue gas produced by the coal combustion process and treat it by first absorbing sulphur dioxide and then carbon dioxide. The proposal does not include measures for the long-term storage of the gases and is intended only to demonstrate the feasibility of the capture process. Construction of the plant is expected to take a year, with subsequent operation for a period of up to 30 months and a three-month period of decommissioning and removal.

The project should be completed and the plant removed by the end of 2013.

There is no intention to retain the plant for the long term.

Power station owners RWE Npower said it was committed to reducing the carbon intensity of electricity generated by 33% by 2015 over 2000 levels.

Carbon capture and storage is one of a range of options being investigated.

In his report to the council's planning committee, chief planner Rob Thomas said: "This plant will not in itself emit any gases to the atmosphere.

"While the current proposal is for a pilot scheme that will treat only a very small proportion of total emissions from the power station, it nevertheless represents the forefront of European carbon capture technology."

Keith Stockdale, spokesman for Barry and Vale Friends of the Earth, said his group was concerned that the information was badly incomplete.

"Because it covers gaseous wastes, the development is exempt from much waste management legislation, but it is still waste management rather than any productive or monitoring process," he said. "Though it is a 'pilot' plant, it would extract 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

We question RWE's plan to discharge this gas to the atmosphere as waste, rather than fixing it or using it.

"Since RWE submitted the application, an authoritative independent report has been issued that warns over possible health and environmental dangers from the amine-chemicals that are to be used."
COPYRIGHT 2010 MGN Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 11, 2010
Words:434
Previous Article:Former S4C editor found dead at sea.
Next Article:Gavin & Stacey fans should be left wanting more, says Melanie Walters.
Topics:


Related Articles
Alcoa honoured for technology.
What the Government's Low Carbon Transition Plan says: ARTICLE-DESELECTED.
Bid to capture carbon waste; Power plant aims to treat emissions.
$55m carbon dioxide recovery plant opens.
Masdar Abu Dhabi in forefront of renewable energy initiative.
Masdar Abu Dhabi in forefront of renewable energy initiative.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters