Czech EPH buys U.K.’s Lynemouth Power
January 8, 2016
By Argus Media
January 8, 2016 — German utility RWE has sold its subsidiary Lynemouth Power, operator of the U.K.’s 420MW coal-fired Lynemouth power plant, to Czech utility EPH, RWE said today. Full biomass conversion is intended, RWE said.
The European Commission cleared Lynemouth’s planned coal-to-biomass conversion supported with a contract for difference (CFD) subsidy from the U.K. government under EU state aid on Dec. 1, following an in-depth investigation that lasted 10 months.
The conversion would increase wood pellet demand by about 1.5mn t/yr, a significant quantity in the European wood pellet sector.
A final investment decision on the plant is expected to be made in the next couple of months, EPH’s U.K. subsidiary, EP Invest, chief executive Neil O’Hara said. The converted plant is scheduled to begin operations in January 2018, he said. EPH are in the final stages of negotiations for the wood pellet supply.
EPH owns the 1.9GW Eggborough power plant in Yorkshire, which is scheduled to close at the end of March. The plant had considered refurbishing to reduce emissions in order to stay on line — probably through coal-to-biomass conversion — but said last September that changes to capacity market rules mean that Eggborough no longer represented a “viable option to support life extension investment”. UK transmission system operator National Grid has contracted 680MW of reserve generation capacity for winter 2016-17 at Eggborough under its supplemental balancing reserve scheme.
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