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Government lifts gas power ban

TRADE SECRETARY Stephen Byers this week lifted a two year ban on gas fired power station construction and immediately approved six new schemes.

The decision by trade secretary Stephen Byers will pave the way for £2bn of investment in the projects, which are to be built in areas in need of regeneration.

Labour imposed the moratorium on new gas power stations in October 1998 amid government fears that Britain was becoming too reliant on gas fired electricity.

Since then the Government has reformed the electricity market, evening out competitve advantages offered by different energy sources.

The coal industry is expected to be the biggest loser, and the Government has set up a £110M fund to help it through the transition.

Bechtel, in a consortium with Shell and Centrica, will build one of the new combined cycle gas turbine power stations in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

The other five schemes are in Partington and Fleetwood in Lancashire, the Isle of Grain in Kent, Raventhorpe in north Lincolnshire and Langage in Devon.

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