Plans for a new multi-fuel power station at Hunterston are to be submitted to the Scottish Government next week, it has been confirmed.
It will be the first application anywhere in the UK for a new coal-fired power station since new environmental rules forcing all new coal plants to be fitted with carbon capture technology were introduced last year.
The proposals, drawn up by energy company Ayrshire Power, owned by Peel Energy Ltd, are for a site between the existing Clydeport coal handling facility at the Hunterston Terminal, and the Hunterston B nuclear power plant.
It will involve Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, and burn both coal and biomass fuels.
If approved, the new facility could meet the energy needs of 3M homes, Ayrshire power said.
The plans will be formally submitted to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit on Monday.
It will then enter a “gate checking” phase while the Government ensures all the information needed for a full assessment of the proposals is included, before being put forward for public consultation.
The company said it would “use highly efficient modern technology with strict emissions control”, with 90% of carbon from the plant being captured, and reducing coal consumption by up to 25%.
It also claimed that the new power station would generate a “significant” number of jobs in the area, with up to 1,600 people being employed during construction and 160 permanent jobs when the power station is running.
But campaigners claimed the new development would “do nothing to improve Scotland environmentally or financially”.