RWE npower defers plans to store coal ash in UK lake

19 February 2008 – UK power generator RWE npower is deferring its plan to fill Thrupp Lake near Radley with coal ash from Didcot Power Station, saying that the recent successes of its ash recycling and reuse programme have meant the scheme is not needed in the short term.

In a statement, npower said that it had secured new contracts to recycle the Didcot ash for use in industry, including road-building projects.

Other factors have also contributed to the deferral. Milder weather conditions over two successive winters have resulted in less power than normal being generated at Didcot, which has in turn reduced the amount of ash produced on site.

Changing energy market conditions may also mean a more evenly-distributed rate of coal ash production in the run up to the Station’s closure, due by the end of 2015, making the volumes more manageable.

John Rainford, Manager of Didcot Power Station said: “We have always worked very hard to find the best ash solutions and we’ll continue to do so. As a result of our efforts we’ve managed to take advantage of a stronger market for ash re-use. This means we are now able to put the use of Thrupp Lake on hold for the time being.

“We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and we will always look for opportunities to minimise the impact of what we do. We will keep the situation under constant review, but we won’t be progressing immediately with the construction work that would be required before ash disposal could commence on site.

“It is still too early to say whether we can avoid having to use Thrupp Lake before the station’s closure by end of 2015, but we will of course keep the local community up to date on developments,” he said.