Coal is an important strategic fuel and is central to ensuring that we always have enough affordable power available.
We are, however, sensitive to the environmental concerns associated with coal and do everything we can to minimise these:
• Our coal fired power stations are fitted with electrostatic precipitators that remove dust and grit from the fumes with an efficiency of around 93%.
• Low NOx burners have also been fitted to reduce any oxide of nitrogen emissions which can be associated with acid rain.
• Ratcliffe-on-Soar is fitted with a Flue Gas Desulphurisation unit which removes over 90% of sulphur dioxide from the fumes. In all sites sulphur dioxide emissions are minimised through the use of coal with a low sulphur content.
• Ratcliffe-on-Soar, Ironbridge and Kingsnorth power stations have all been involved in biomass co-firing projects.
The Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) places limits of the amount of sulphur dioxide power stations can emit in the future and means that our Kingsnorth and Ironbridge power stations will have to close. In October 2006, we announced plans to build two new cleaner coal units at our Kingsnorth Power Station.