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Chemical engineers backing new UK power station

09 August 2008

Senior figures at the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) are backing plans to build the UK’s first new coal-fired power station in 30 years, amidst ongoing protests in Kingsnorth, Kent – site of the proposed plant. Thousands of pro-environment campaigners are expected at the site this week after Medway council in Kent gave the £1bn E.ON proposed plant the go-ahead.

Sizewell B nuclear power plant provides 3% of UK's electricity
Sizewell B nuclear power plant provides 3% of UK's electricity

Despite the protests, Dr David Brown, IChemE Chief Executive backed the new power station and told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that fossil fuels must remain part of the UK’s energy mix.: “We’ll need fossil fuels in the coming years if we are to meet energy demands. However, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology needs to be implemented – and quickly.

“The CCS technology and know-how already exists and it’s now down to the Government to support industry-scale implementation. The current framework fails to guarantee generators a return on the additional investment required to introduce CCS.”

Andrew Furlong, the Institution’s Director of Policy told BBC Radio Kent that new coal power stations are essential: “There are three ways to generate power – nuclear, renewables and fossil fuels and we need a combination of the three for energy security.

“This isn’t about renewables or coal. We will need renewables and coal, along with gas, nuclear and more besides if we’re going to keep the lights on, and we will need chemical engineers to make any or all of this happen,” he warned.

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