FAQs

What is a CCGT power plant?

Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power generation is currently the most energy efficient and clean method of fossil fuel power generation. The plant uses natural gas to generate electricity. As part of this process, the waste heat produced by the burning of gas is used to produce steam and generate further electricity, making a CCGT plant highly cost effective and efficient. See also CCGT Technology

Why choose Marchwood as a site for a CCGT power plant?

The ‘brownfield’ site at Marchwood is highly suitable as a location for a new power station as it has already been used for power generation. An oil-fired power station was opened on the site in 1952, and demolished in the 1990s. The new plant re-uses some of the structures left in place from the old power station. The site is designated for power station use in the local development plan and has excellent access to energy infrastructure. Additionally, there is a shortage of power generation capability on the south coast of England and the new power station brings electricity to where it is needed.

How do we contact Marchwood Power?

Our address and contact details are available on the Contact Us page

What is the economic benefit to the area?

Nearly 1000 people were employed during construction of the station, with a number of local firms involved in different aspects of the project. Between 45-50 people are permanently employed by Marchwood Power, most of whom have been recruited from the local area. Wherever possible, Marchwood Power is using local firms to support the day-to-day operation of the plant.

In addition, the building of additional power generation capacity has enhanced the region’s security of supply.

How much did construction of the power station cost?

£380m.

When did the power station enter commercial operational?

After a period of commissioning and comprehensive testing, the station entered commercial operation on 10th December 2009.

How much electricity does the power station generate?

The plant has the capability to generate 842MW of electricity, sufficient to provide the energy needs for nearly one million homes, or the equivalent to the combined energy needs of Southampton, the New Forest and Winchester.

What fuel is being used?

Natural gas.

Does the plant produce any smells when it is operational?

No. Natural gas is a clean burning fuel, compared to other fossil fuels such as coal or oil. As such, the plant should not produce any noticeable odours.

Does the plant produce much noise when it is operational?

The station’s Environmental Permit limits the noise impact of the station on surrounding communities. We regularly monitor noise levels at a number of fixed points around the site to ensure it does not exceed the permitted level. Any noise produced by the plant’s turbines should be almost imperceptible beyond the site boundary, however.

Were New Forest District Council or Marchwood Parish Council consulted during the planning process and construction phase?

Yes, extensive liaison with both bodies was undertaken throughout the process. We also worked closely with other statutory bodies including Hampshire County Council, Natural England and the Environment Agency to ensure the site is appropriately regulated.

Were members of the local community given the opportunity to express their views during the planning process?

Yes. The project was first proposed in 2001 and public exhibitions were held in October 2001 and July 2002. Since then, members of the development team have worked closely with the Marchwood Power Station Working Group, made up of representatives of the parish, district and county councils to ensure that the wider community are kept informed.

There have been reports in the local press on a number of occasions, the Marchwood Village Newsletter has carried regular reports and in December 2006 another exhibition was held in the Village Hall.

The Working Group continues to exist and meets the power station team on a regular basis.

An open day was held in June 2010 giving residents and other interested groups the opportunity to look round the station and ask questions about construction and operation of the plant.

When was Marchwood Power Station built?

Preparatory work on the site started in November 2006 and the main construction work started in January 2007. The main excavation and foundations work for the power station started in July 2007 and the erection of the main buildings started in November 2007. The station was completed in the summer of 2009 and commissioning and testing took place until generation commenced in December of that year.

Where does the gas supply for the site come from?

Marchwood Power Station is connected to the national grid gas network. A dedicated 23km long pipeline was constructed across rural Hampshire to deliver gas to the station. Work on the pipeline started in January 2007 and involved crossing a number of roads (including the M27) and watercourses. All land, fences and hedgerows have now been reinstated.

What measures will be in place to minimise the environmental impact of the plant?

The plant uses the very latest technology and is one of the most efficient and cleanest conventional power stations in the UK.

The plant is regulated by a stringent Environmental Permit which limits our impact on the environment. We operate a comprehensive environmental monitoring programme covering air, water and noise pollution. This is rigorously enforced and any breaches reported to the appropriate regulators.

The large volume of water taken from and discharged back to the River Test is monitored to ensure that fish and other aquatic life are safeguarded. Noise levels are monitored around the site. Emissions to air from our stacks are continuously monitored to ensure they do not exceed limits or cause widespread air pollution.

Our environmental management system has been certified as meeting the requirements of the ISO14001:2004 standard.

How secure and safe is the plant?

Strict heath and safety regulations are enforced to minimise the potential for accidents at work. In addition, entry and exit to the site is strictly controlled. A commitment to health and safety lies at the core of Marchwood Power’s business.

We operate a robust Health & Safety Management System externally certified as meeting the requirements of the BS OHSAS 18001:2007 standard.

Will Marchwood will be able to benefit from the discharge of waste heat from the station for local heating?

The plant is state-of-the-art with an energy conversion efficiency of 58%. The steam cycle dictates that waste heat is only available at about 40°C, too low to be useful for local heating. The temperature of the cooling water passed through the plant is raised by a small amount but it is negligible in the context of the volume of water in the estuary.

Why is water from the Test Estuary to be used for cooling?

Direct cooling using sea or river water is optimum from the point of view of efficiency, and is therefore preferable from an overall environmental perspective. One of the reasons for the selection of the site at Marchwood was the existence of the cooling water intake and outfall from the original station, which have been refurbished and reused.

How is Marchwood Power supporting the local community?

Marchwood Power is providing appropriate support to the Marchwood area (in-kind and financial) with a particular focus towards energy, the environment and education.

For further information, please see the Local Community section.

There is also the economic contribution that Marchwood Power is providing to the area. For example, local people are working for the company, and local firms have won construction contracts.