AN £800 million gas-fired power station could be built in Wrexham by 2020 if given the green light, it has been claimed.
Wrexham Power Limited has revealed it is planning to build the energy centre on land off Bryn Lane on the Wrexham Industrial Estate and has announced a series of consultation events to gauge public opinion.
If the proposals are given the go-ahead, Wrexham Power says it would create 50 highly skilled permanent jobs, while building the plant would provide 1,200 construction jobs.
Under the proposals, the one gigawatt station would provide enough energy to supply 1,250,000 homes. It is claimed to have the potential to provide discounted heat, electricity and gas to businesses on the industrial estate.
A workshop outlining the proposals took place for Wrexham councillors yesterday.
Among the councillors attending was Michael Morris who represents the Holt ward where the station would be based.
Cllr Morris said: “There is a lot of detail which will have to be looked at before coming to any firm conclusions, for example over issues of the corridor routes for gas and overhead lines.”
Cllr Arfon Jones, who represents Gwersyllt West, said: “I will want to look at the plans closely and carry out further research before making up my mind. Initially, I give the proposals a cautious welcome.”
Daniel Chapman, a director of Wrexham Power Limited said: “We are at a very early stage and we will first consult the community on our initial thoughts and ideas before coming back with firmer plans next year.
“We are planning a massive investment in the Wrexham Industrial Estate, creating permanent, temporary associated jobs, and securing the supply of power to one of Europe’s largest industrial estates, which has vast energy needs.”
Jack Loy, a director for Local Dialogue which is carrying out a consultation exercise into the plans said: “We would be looking at a second stage of consultation early in 2013 incorporating ideas of the community. If everything goes ahead, the energy centre could be built before 2020. I can’t be precise on when it would be on line.”
A series of public consultation events with exhibitions has been arranged.
These will take place at Marchwiel Village Hall on July 2; Rhostyllen Parish Hall on July 3; the Atrium Suite at Redwither Tower on the Redwither Business Park on July 4; the Stiwt Theatre in Rhos on July 5 and Parciau Community Centre in Bellvue Road, Wrexham on July 6.
The company has pledged it will be sending an information booklet out to more than 8,000 homes in the area.
A document provided by Wrexham Power says: “The Wrexham Industrial Estate is a good location for a new power station.
“Demand for electricity in Wrexham significantly outstrips local supply.”
The company says it has studied a number of potential sites and chosen the one at Bryn Lane because it is near to the national gas transmission network, there is a clear connection route to the national electricity grid and it is an allocated development site with an existing consent for a 500,000 sq ft industrial building.
Steve Bayley, head of Assets and Economic Development at Wrexham Council, said: “We can confirm talks have taken place with representatives of Wrexham Power Ltd regarding the project.
“Discussions are still in the early stages and any application will be dealt with by Planning Inspectorate under the Planning Act 2008.
“The views of the authority, as well as local residents and community councils, will be sought during this process. There will also be substantial opportunities for public consultation throughout the process from Wrexham Power Ltd.
“The final decision will be made by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.”.