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RWE to progress investment in emission reduction technology at Aberthaw Power Station


RWE Generation has today confirmed its decision to progress investment in retrofit of the ‘Low NOx boiler technology’ at Aberthaw Power Station, South Wales. This technology is expected to reduce the station’s emissions of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) by more than 60%.

This latest announcement will represent the first step to progressively reduce station NOx emissions to the levels required to allow opt into the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) a piece of European legislation – which will come into effect 1st January 2016. With the combination of Low NOx boilers and existing Flue Gas Desulphurisation the plant is expected to meet emissions requirements for operation to well into the 2020s.

The cost of installation of the Low NOx Boilers is around £12 million per unit and will initially involve one unit of the power station. The work will be done during a planned major outage in mid 2015. The station will also be considering the option of installing Low NOx boiler technology on the other two generating units over the following four years.

RWE has been investigating a range of emission abatement technologies for Aberthaw Power Station in order to extend the life of the South Wales coal plant and comply with further tightening on the levels of SO2, NOx and particulate emissions that power stations may emit. RWE believes that coal will continue to play an important part of the UK energy mix, ensuring security of supply in an ever tightening market.

Roger Miesen, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Hard Coal, Gas, Biomass, said: “This is a really positive step to secure the future of Aberthaw Power Station beyond 2016, keeping our options open. It is a positive signal for jobs in Wales and across the Welsh mining community. However there is still more to understand regarding the longer term future of the power plant. We need to have long term clarity on how the energy market will operate under the Government’s new energy legislation, including the NOx Transitional National Plan, the capacity market, carbon floor price and proposed changes to transmission costs (Project Transmit).”

RWE has invested over £230 million in Aberthaw in recent years to reduce emissions and gain generation performance including Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) to cut sulphur emissions by 95%, steam turbine retro-fit and dynamic classifiers - providing greater efficiency and lower CO2 emissions and the development of a pilot Carbon Capture plant.

Notes to editors

In January this year, Aberthaw Power Station was entered into the Limited Life Derogation (LLD), which provides power plants with limited life options post 1st January 2016. The LLD allows participating plants to operate for a maximum of 17,500 hours or until the end of 2023 before either closing or re-permitting to operate at new plant standards.

Contact information

Kelly Brown
Kelly Brown
Job Title
0845 070 2807
Since 1 January 2013, all generation in the RWE Group has been steered by RWE Generation SE, enabling the pooling of the generation and engineering expertise of RWE Power in Germany, RWE Essent in the Netherlands, and RWE Generation UK. RWE has around 16,000 employees in its generation business and more than 40 GW of power generation capacity