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E.ON to convert coal plant to wood pellet facility

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UK energy company E.ON has received approval from the Shropshire council to build a new fuel store at its Ironbridge power station in the region.

This planning permission grant will allow the company to convert a section of its Ironbridge power station so that it can use 100% wood pellets as a renewable fuel source.

E.ON will continue to work with the council so that it can build the fuel storage space.

It is expected the converted plant will come into operation in the beginning of 2013, running its remaining operational hours on this new fuel mix until it is closed in December 2015 under the Large Combustion Plant Directive.

The way that the conversion is undertaken means the facility will remain flexible, being able to also operate with 20% coal, as well as the wood pellets.

Throughout the middle of last year, the company carried out tests at the plant to make sure that the conversion will work efficiently.

‘The next step is now to discharge the planning conditions and to work with other regulators to ensure that all necessary permissions are in place before we commence work to convert the initial generating unit,’ says Dave Eynon, plant manager of Ironbridge power station.

Currently the facility is completely run on coal and its two units are able to generate 1,000MW of electricity, supplying about 750,000 homes with energy.