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Power plant could generate 1,000 jobs
6:10am Thursday 24th October 2013 in Echo News
MORE than 1,000 jobs could be coming to south Essex after the government earmarked two power station projects for funding.
Chief Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander made the announcement that plans for a gas-fired power station in Corringham and a waste-wood burning plant in the Port of Tilbury could get a share of £33billion of funding as the Government seeks to secure secure the country’s energy supply for years to come.
The announcement comes 15 months after plans for the Gateway Energy Centre, a 900 mega watt gas-fired station on the London Gateway Logistics Park, in Corringham, appeared to be dead in the water due to a lack of funding.
Intergen, the company behind the plans required Government funding to make the project viable and required a change of policy to secure the money necessary.
Meanwhile, plans to build a 60mw biomass and waste fuelled plant at the Port of Tilbury could also now go ahead after the first hurdle to securing a Government guarantee was overcome.
In the last four years, both plants received outline planning permission and hope to begin construction next year. Between them, the two projects would create up to 900 construction jobs and 120 jobs once the plants are fully operational.
Dirk van den Esschert, Director of Tilbury Green Power Limited, the company behind the plant in Tilbury, said: “TGP is very pleased to have pre-qualified for the Government’s infrastructure guarantee. We have been progressing the detailed design of the facility with our project partners and are working hard to bring together a finance package to ensure the project goes ahead.
“The government’s announcement is a positive step forward for TGP, proves that the project is sound and will help us to bring the financial aspects together.”
In July 2012, Intergen said it remained hopeful the Government would support gas-fired power stations as it looks to fill a potential 2015 power shortage, although this is not guaranteed. But a spokesman for Intergen confirmed that the Government has still not decided whether gas stations - or other will form part of its electricity market reform.
The spokesman said: “We’ve just about completed an invitation to tender and we’re about to select a preferred supplier of the equipment. We now need purchasers of the power.
“Once we’ve got that, we will be looking to utilise the Government’s loan guarantee scheme for which we’ve been prequalified. From that point of view, it’s great news for us but we still do have work to do. We are ready to build, but we need the Government to decide which forms of electricity supply it will be using for its electricity reform to support construction.”
Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price said: “I welcome the governments announcement of funding guarantees for a whole series of energy projects up and down the country. We are going to have an energy crisis in this country which is going to lead to higher taxes and higher bills unless we secure investment in energy generation fast.”
South Basildon and East Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe said: “I’m in favour of this. It brings futher investment into Thurrock with the potential for a number of new jobs and takes us a step closer to providing our energy needs for the future.”
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