Fiddlers Ferry Power Station

Fiddlers Ferry Power Station is a coal fired power station located in Cheshire in North West England, which is capable of co-firing biomass. It is situated on the north bank of the River Mersey between the towns of Widnes and Warrington. Opened in 1971, the station has a generating capacity of 1,989 megawatts (MW). Since the privatisation of the Central Electricity Generating Board in 1990, the station has been operated by various companies. Since 2004, Scottish and Southern Energy plc have operated the station.

History

Fiddlers Ferry power station was built by the Cleveland Bridge Company and came into full operation in 1973. One of the station's cooling towers collapsed on 13 January 1984, due to the freak high winds of that winter. It has since been rebuilt.

The station was built by the CEGB but was transferred to Powergen PLC after privatisation of the UK's electricity industry in 1990. Fiddlers Ferry, along with Ferrybridge Power Station in Yorkshire, was then sold to Edison Mission Energy in 1999. They were then sold on to AEP Energy Services Ltd in 2001, and both were sold again in July 2004 to Scottish and Southern Energy for £136 million.

Operations

The station generates electricity using four 500 MW generating sets. The station consumes 195 million litres of water daily from the River Mersey. Since the deep mines in the Lancashire coalfield closed, all its coal is either imported (largely by train from Liverpool docks), or supplied from mines in Yorkshire. 16,000 tonnes of coal are burned each day. It also burns biofuels together with the coal.

Fiddlers Ferry has been fitted with Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) plant to reduce the emissions of sulphur by 94%, meeting the European Large Combustion Plant directive. This work commenced in 2006 and was completed in 2008.

As of March 2010, the station was being considered for the installation of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) equipment. This would reduce the stations emissions of nitrogen oxides, to meet the requirements of the Industrial Emissions (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control) Directive, which must be implemented by 2016. The SCR technology would replace the Separated Over Fire Air (SOFA) technology currently used in the station.

Use in culture

With its eight 114-metre (374 ft) high cooling towers and 200-metre (660 ft) high chimney the station is a prominent landmark and can be seen from as far away as the Peak District. The station is seen in the title sequence to the BBC Three programme, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.