A NEW power station – which will use gas from an underground pipeline to power more than two million homes – could be built in Knottingley, creating more than 1,000 jobs.
Irish energy company ESB International hopes to build the natural gas power station on the former Oxiris chemical works site, on Common Lane, if planning permission is granted by Wakefield Council next year.
The Knottingley Power project – which starts its six-week public consultation period on May 17 – aims to build a combined cycle gas turbine power plant which would create 1,100 positions during the three-and-a-half-year construction period, and 50 skilled jobs once operational in 2018.
Simon James, ESBI’s public affairs manager, said: “We have so far had some very positive responses from councillors and parish leaders who have heard about the plans.
“We hope this project will not just create jobs from the construction of the plant, but will also bring in much wider business advantages to the town.
“We can ensure the new jobs will be advertised locally and we will be consulting fully with the residents about the principles of this type of power station.
“The major advantage of having a pipeline which brings the gas to the plant is there will be no vehicles needed to transport fuel on the roads to our station when it is running.
“This means there will be not be an increase in traffic in the area, or effect on the roads and bridges, which can be a general concern of local residents.”
An eight-kilometre pipeline would be built to connect the 70-metre high power plant to the national gas transmission network’s pipeline near Gateforth – but an exact route is still being discussed with landowners.
Public meetings will be held in Knottingley, Eggborough and Kellington, and the meetings’ results will be used in a final plan of the station which will be presented to residents in October.
Mr James added: “Consulting with the community is a vital part of the development process and we look forward to introducing the proposals to local businesses and residents living near to the site.
“We hope to see as many visitors as possible at the exhibitions, where information on the project will be available and members of our team will be on hand to answer questions, and listen to feedback from local people.”
Public meetings at Knottingley Town Hall will be held on Monday May 21 from noon to 9pm and on Saturday May 26 from 10.30am to 7pm, and at Kellingley Village Hall on Wednesday May 30 from 12.30pm to 8.30pm.
Visit www.knottingleypower.co.uk for more information on the project.