Glasgow & West Scotland

Bigger chimney plan for new Hunterston coal-fired plant

Hunterston Power Station in Largs
Image caption The new plant would be on the site of the old Hunterston station

The firm behind proposals for a new coal-fired power station in Scotland has revealed the chimney will be almost 150ft (46m) higher than planned.

Ayrshire Power is seeking permission to build a plant with experimental carbon capture and storage technology at Hunterston in North Ayrshire.

It wants to raise the chimney from 509ft (155mt to 656ft (200m) to reduce any emission impacts on public health.

A consultation on the proposal will run from 2 to 29 August 2011.

Public exhibitions will be held in Millport on 23 August and Largs on 24 August.

Any comments and objections will have to be lodged with the Scottish government by 29 August.

Environmental concerns

Ayrshire Power said the facility could provide low carbon energy for up to three million homes for decades.

But campaign groups have said thousands of people oppose the scheme on the grounds that it will harm wildlife and the environment.

Muir Miller, project director at Ayrshire Power, said the firm had produced an addendum to its application for consent to build the plant following consultation with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and others interested parties.

He said they had requested some additional work be carried out on sections of the application, "particularly in relation to air and marine emissions".

"Hunterston's proximity to sensitive local centres of population and to sites of environmental significance means that it is particularly important that there is a high level of confidence in the emissions modelling work undertaken to assess the impact of the proposed development," he said.

"Sepa and SNH requested some additional air emission modelling to provide improved confidence that these emissions would not lead to any unacceptable public health or environmental impacts.

"As a result of the revised air quality emissions modelling information, a revised assessment of the impacts of the predicted emissions on various human and ecological interests has been prepared, including revisions to the health impact assessment."

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