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Friday, July 16, 1999 Published at 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK

Special Report

Power station gets go-ahead

Thousands of jobs in unemployment blackspot

Planning permission has been granted for a power station in south Wales which could bring 10,000 jobs to the area.

Energy Minister John Battle told the House of Commons that Baglan Cogeneration has been given the go-ahead to build a 500 MW gas power station at the BP Chemicals site at Baglan Bay in Port Talbot.

U-turn on policy

The Government announced a U-turn on its energy policy in April when it said it would not block plans for a gas-powered power station at Baglan Bay.

Welsh Secretary Alun Michael said that the decision was based on the benefits in terms of "local employment and economic regeneration."

It was an "excellent development for jobs, for the local economy and Wales", he said.

Ten thousand jobs

The benefits to employment and economic regeneration in the region were considered a heavier counterweight than the objections.

[ image: GE is a major partner]
GE is a major partner

Planners believe the 500 MW power station could eventually lead to as many as 10,000 jobs, as more industries are attracted to the Park by the lure of cheaper electricity.

Mr Michael said at the time: "I very much welcome the fact the regional development strengths of the case for the project have been recognised.

Global showcase

"I wish the scheme every success.

"This new plant would give Wales a global showcase for sustainable development. It is an excellent development for jobs, for the local economy and Wales."

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