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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 April, 2004, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
Go-ahead for power plant project
Computer animation of new power station
The new station will create 2,000 jobs says its backers
A multi-million pound power station project in Devon is going ahead after a new backer was found.

It is six years since proposals were first tabled for the gas-fired power station at Langage in Plymouth.

When the 600m scheme to build the plant was first revealed, it was given planning permission but the original US financial backers, NRG, pulled out.

Now UK energy firm Centrica has taken its place, to the delight of those behind the project.

We need to secure our electricity supplies which are very fragile
Tim Jones, Devon and Cornwall Business Council
Wainstone's parent company Carlton Power said the 1,000 megawatt gas-fired plant would mean reduced local energy prices, hundreds of new jobs during construction, and a new business park creating up to 2,000 jobs.

It is expected to be built over the next two or three years.

Director Keith Clarke, said: "I am absolutely delighted that the project will be moving forward with such a significant energy market investor.

"The agreement underlines our joint commitment to a scheme that will bring many benefits to the South West, including cheaper, more reliable power as well as the potential for thousands of new jobs."

Only a fifth of the electricity Centrica currently supplies comes from its own power stations and it has been acquiring a number of power stations to redress the balance.

The Devon and Cornwall Business Council said the power station was a major breakthrough for the region's businesses.

Jobs doubt

It would also guarantee domestic power supplies for at least another 15 years until nuclear and renewables take over.

Chairman Tim Jones, said: "We need to secure our electricity supplies which are very fragile.

"We are at maximum capacity and rely on electricity from coal-fired power stations in the north."

Some city councillors have concerns about emissions and South West Devon Conservative MP Gary Streeter is calling for an independent assessment of the economic benefits of the power plant, saying he doubts claims of the numbers of jobs that will be generated.

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