Scottish and Southern Energy scales back, delays gas power plant

UK utility Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) said it would halve the capacity of its proposed gas fired power plant at Abernedd in Wales and delay the start-up by two years due to challenging market conditions.
 
The proposed power plant, which received government consent two weeks ago, will have a capacity of 450 MW instead of 870 MW as initially planned and one combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) instead of two, reports Reuters.
 
The commercial start of the project was pushed back by two years to the end of 2015 and a final investment decision will be taken next year at the earliest, depending on the outcome of government's proposals for reforming the power market, SSE said.
 
"The medium term outlook is challenging, which is why we have decided to scale back the Abernedd development," said SSE's director of generation and supply, Alistair Phillips-Davies.
 
"This will allow us to assess the likely impact of electricity market reform as it emerges over the next year and to further analyse the economics of any investment before taking a decision to go ahead with a CCGT unit."
 
The utility also reiterated plans to mothball its 123 MW gas fired Fife power station at the end of this month. "Fife will cease operations, but we will review all options," a spokesman for the utility said, adding that a future return to service of the power plant was one possibility.

The power plant was expected to make a loss this year and over the coming years, to a large extent due to very high transmission costs charged by the network operator in Scotland.

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