Press Release: Development Update

We are now reaching a significant stage in the construction of the power station. With less than a year away from commercial operation, when we supply power to the National Grid, the station will shortly enter its commissioning phase. This means that we will be testing the main components of the station under different operating conditions to ensure that the station generates electricity exactly as it should. The commissioning work is scheduled to start in the New Year and will be running for at least six months.

In our previous development update (September 1st), we mentioned that we would be “firing” the gas turbines in November which is an important first part of the station’s commissioning. The start date has slipped to the early part of next year but, before the work starts, we will be notifying residents in good time (via the Parish notice boards, maildrops and the Parish Council website). As we have said previously, there will be some intermittent noise and some harmless but visible emissions for a short period of time.

As the commissioning work moves forward, we will ensure that local residents are kept fully informed of any significant work that might cause some short-term disturbance to the local area. We don’t expect there to be much.

Working with local businesses

One question that has been asked of Marchwood Power is the use of local firms in the station’s construction. The main contractor is Siemens, a major international power station construction firm, but a large number of specialist sub-contracting firms have been involved in the project, some of them local to the area. One such firm is Trant Construction based at Rushington who have carried out various pieces of civil engineering work. The company has employed over 80 people on the site at various stages of the project. Other local firms working on the project include Lafarge and crane company, King Lifting.

Nearly 1000 people have been working on the site in recent months but that number is now decreasing. When the plant officially opens next summer, Marchwood Power will directly employ about 50 people for a 365 day 24hour operation and they will be supported by a range of service companies (where it is possible local companies will be used).

Supporting local schools

In the September update we mentioned a visit from pupils from Applemore College to see the power station and meet members of the Marchwood Power team. They were asked to enter an essay competition, and the winning entry from Jade Perry will be published in the December edition of the Marchwood Village News. We’re not sure whether the visit has influenced her but Jade says she hopes to pursue a career in engineering. Perhaps one day, she will be running Marchwood Power?

Installing solar photovoltaic panels into local schools, through Marchwood Power’s financial support of the Solar4Schools programme, has unfortunately taken rather longer than we had hoped. There have been a number of planning issues to resolve but we are expecting the first solar panels to be installed within the next few weeks. There are presently six schools in the area who are taking advantage of the scheme.

Local Liaison Group

The group, chaired by Councillor David Harrison, continues to meet with us to check on progress and discuss particular issues. Among the issues, raised at our last meeting in October, were traffic movements into the industrial park, land reinstatement along the route of the gas pipeline, the overhead transmission lines and Marchwood Power’s support for local community projects. It’s a valuable mechanism to exchange information and to share views. The next meeting takes place in January.

This Development Update will be published in the December issue of the Marchwood Village News.