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In the papers today - Wednesday 19 December

Drax, the company that runs the country's biggest coal-fired power station, has dropped plans for a major refinancing and warned that its profits could miss expectations after being hit by the credit crunch...

...The company, whose power station near Selby, North Yorkshire, produces 7% of Britain's electricity, said that international coal prices had been at record levels for much of the second half of the year while its own ability to charge more had been hit by "volatile" power markets - The Guardian

An express train packed with holidaymakers derailed in southern Pakistan early this morning killing at least 50 people and injuring many more, officials said. The train was said to be travelling from Karachi to Lahore when 12 of its 16 carriages came off the rails near Mehrabpur, about 250 miles north of Karachi, said Anwar Kazmi, a spokesman for the Edhi Foundation, a charity that dispatched ambulances to the scene of the accident - The Independent

Drax, which runs the UK’s largest coal-fired power station, has become the latest victim of the credit crunch after being forced to pull its refinancing plans. The news sent its shares tumbling 8% before recovering slightly to close down 45.5 at 623.5p, valuing the group at around £2.1bn - Daily Telegraph

National Grid has agreed in principal to proposals by UK watchdog Ofgem that the industry invests £5bn over the next five years in gas distribution networks. Ofgem came under fire from all sides when it first announced the plans two weeks ago. It wants to set price controls between 2008 and 2013 that will allow £3.6bn to be spent replacing iron mains pipes - Daily Telegraph

The first direct passenger train from Wearside to London for almost 20 years set off from Sunderland at dawn today, after operators Grand Central surmounted a year of delays - Financial Times

BNFL has agreed to sell its nuclear services business to VT Group, the military-focused support services and shipbuilding group, in a deal worth £75M - Financial Times

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