New power station to be built at Lynn plant

The Palm Paper Plant at Saddlebow just about visible through the early morning misty haze as seen from South quay King's Lynn ANL-140304-105943001
The Palm Paper Plant at Saddlebow just about visible through the early morning misty haze as seen from South quay King's Lynn ANL-140304-105943001
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Palm Paper has been given permission by the government to build a new power station at its site in Lynn.

The company was last week given development consent by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to build the 162MW gas-powered plant next to its paper mill on the banks of the tidal Ouse at Saddlebow.

Due to its size, the application was classed as a “nationally significant infrastructure project” and therefore had to be decided following an examination by the planning inspectorate.

Palm Paper says the power station will help the company to reduce its carbon emmissions and its reliance on imported electricity, by generating its own.

In a planning statement, the company said: “The high levels of efficiency created by the CCGT (combined cycle gas turbine) process would allow Palm Paper to create a significant reduction in emissions arising from the mill every year.

“The plant would also make a contribution to the resilience of national energy infrastructure by reducing Palm Paper’s current reliance on grid electricity.”

The new power station would be built from pre-formed concrete, with its main building between 15 and 25m high.

Exhaust gases including nitrogen dioxide would be vented via an 80m stack.

Its gas supply would be delivered via a new underground pipeline connecting it to the National Grid.

An environmental assessment of the scheme concluded that it would only have a “limited and insignificant” impact on its surroundings.

A local impact report produced by West Norfolk Council also concluded that the plant would help secure Palm Paper’s operations in Lynn and create up to 50 jobs during its 15-month construction phase.

It said: “The borough council recognises the benefits of the proposed development in terms of providing jobs during the construction phase and the role the CCGT will play in securing Palm Paper’s operations in the borough.

“The council considers that, subject to suitable requirements being attached to the Development Consent Order, the impacts of the proposed NSIP (Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project) can be mitigated to an acceptable level.”

Palm Paper’s Lynn mill began production of newsprint paper in August 2009 and produces around 400,000 to 500,000 tons of newsprint paper per year, with the mill employing 200 people.

The company is a subsidiary of German-based Papierfabrik Palm, which runs a further three paper mills in Germany and already operates two combined cycle gas turbine power stations like the one approved for Lynn.

The Lynn power station was the 50th NSIP to be given development consent by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

A spokesman for Palm Paper said the company did not wish to comment on the consent at this time.