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Coal-powered power station setback in Scotland

The future of a proposed giant coal-fired power station in Scotland is in doubt after Denmark’s DONG Energy pulled out of a joint venture with the UK’s Peel Energy.

The 1,600 MW project at Hunterston on the Clyde would be capable of powering up to two million homes.

The major infrastructure project is one of 14 that Scotland’s “national planning framework” is due to designate as being in the national interest. As well as coal, the Hunterston plant would have used some “biomass” material like wood, under the proposals.

A DONG spokesman said: “Due to the financial situation, which affects DONG Energy especially on the power production side - due to less sale and falling prices - DONG Energy has decided to strengthen its capital structure, which includes reducing investments in the coming years.”

But Peel Energy, a sister company to Clydeport which owns the port at Hunterston, said it planned to press ahead.

Peel and DONG last year formed a joint venture company, Ayrshire Power, to “explore the possibility” of gaining planning permission.

The joint venture agreement gave opportunities for either to exit the project at various points, a Peel spokesman said.

A Friends of the Earth (FOE) spokesman said: “The Scottish Government must move swiftly to ensure that no new proposal for a coal-fired power station can come forward without a full and immediate commitment to carbon capture and storage.”

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