Kingsnorth Power Station

Generation will cease at the Kent power station in March 2013

In March 2012 E.ON announced that power generation at its Kingsnorth power station will cease in March 2013. Like many other power stations around the country, Kingsnorth’s closure is a result of the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive legislation which requires it to close after generating for 20,000 hours from 1 January 2008 or at the end of 2015, whichever comes first.

The 1,940MW coal-fired power station, originally commissioned in 1970, will have reached the end of its allocated running hours by March next year and will be taken off-line.

In 2011 E.ON’s super efficient gas-fired combined heat and power plant on the Isle of Grain began full operations and the company is also investing in a number of renewable projects including the London Array offshore wind farm in the Thames Estuary.

Alongside the closure of the current Kingsnorth plant, E.ON is withdrawing its application for development consent for two new coal units, which would be fitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, at the site.

Kingsnorth was one of two schemes shortlisted as part of the Government’s competition to build the UK’s first commercial CCS scheme. But, with the market still not conducive to building the 1,600MW supercritical power station, it became clear the development could not be completed within the Government’s timetable so E.ON announced in October 2010 that it would not proceed to the next stage of the competition.

Grain Power Station
Our power station at Grain burns oil to generate electricity.
Having this oil-fired capability allows us to be flexible. We can make the switch to oil when it makes financial sense to, e.g. if gas prices are extremely high, or when the demand for electricity suddenly becomes very great perhaps due to an unexpected cold spell in winter.
However, we also use oil at other E.ON stations for the following reasons:
• To start up our coal-fired power stations
• As a secondary generation supply at Kingsnorth Power Station. This means that if there is a problem with Kingsnorth coal systems we can generate electricity using oil to ensure continuous supply to you.
Grain has two 690MW units that use oil. It has a total generation capacity of 1,380MW.
At Grain we are sensitive to the environmental issues associated with burning oil and do what we can to minimise their impact.
• Both units are fitted with low nitrogen oxide atomisers to control emissions.
• Palliative treatments are applied to neutralise any SO3 and avoid acid smuts.
• There is a continuous monitoring of particulates and nitrogen oxides on all units.
• The station operates on fuel oil that contains 1% sulphur to minimise sulphur dioxide emissions.
• There is a once-through cooling water system at Grain which means that there are no evaporation losses or concentration effect, thus reducing environmental impact on the river.
• General waste is minimised due to the local waste management plan. Paper, cardboard, scrap metal and waste oils are recycled.

The Medway Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest borders the site. The site holds up to six pairs of nesting black redstarts which is about 10% of the British population and two other special protection species – the barn owl and peregrine falcon. The owls diet includes many water voles, a species of conservation concern found in good numbers on the site.
Additionally, many migrating birds use the sites including many whitethroats. Hares have also done well in the rough grass areas and over 150 Bee Orchids have been spotted along with several Autumn Lady’s-tresses.

Our thanks to the Press Office at E.ON for providing the above information