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Coordinates: 51°23′14″N 3°24′18″W / 51.387312°N 3.404866°W / 51.387312; -3.404866

Aberthaw Power Station

Aberthaw power station.jpg
Aberthaw B Power Station

Aberthaw Power Station is located in Wales2

Aberthaw Power Station shown within Wales
OS grid reference ST023663
Operator: RWE npower
Fuel: Coal-fired 1455 MW
Commissioned: 1966

Aberthaw Power Station refers to a series of two coal-fired power stations situated on the coast of South Wales, near Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan. It is actually located on the waterfront of the nearby villages of Gileston and West Aberthaw on Limpert Bay. The current power station on the site, Aberthaw B Power Station, co-fires biomass and as of May 2007, its generating capacity is 1455 megawatts (MW).



The site of the stations was originally a golf course prior to the construction of the first station.[1] Aberthaw A Power Station opened in February 1966, and at the time was the most advanced power station in the world.[2] Aberthaw B Power Station opened in the early 1970s. The A Station operated until 1995.[3] It was subsequently demolished. Its two 425 feet (130 m) chimneys were the last section to be demolished, and were cleared on 25 July 1997.[4]


The station takes its entire coal feed stock in by rail, under contract to EWS from the Vale of Glamorgan Line. Until its closure, it was in part supplied with coal from the Tower Colliery in Hirwaun. Coal now comes from Cwmbargoed opencast mine in Merthyr Tydfyl, and other opencasts and mines. Most coal from Aberpergwm drift and opencast mines in the Neath Valley is still taken to Tower Colliery for blending, before being taken to the power station by rail. There are usualy around four trains a week, although Energy Build gave Port Talbot prioroty over coal stocks before Aberthaw, so on some weeks no coal is taken to Aberthaw. There is a possibility that, as of November 2009, Tower Colliery could reopen as an opencast mine in the next 18 months. Other coal that is delivered to the power station comes from the Ports of Portbury and Avonmouth and Newport Docks. Coal from the West of Wales usualy originates from Onllwyn Washery and Cwmgwrach mine, next to Aberpergwm, although the coal from Aberpergwm is taken to Tower Washers by road for washing.

In response to the government's renewable energy obligation that came into effect in April 2002, the station is currently firing a range of biomass materials to replace some of the coal burned.

Aberthaw burns 5000-6000 tones of coal a day, with around 5 train a day each loaded with 1500 tones of coal.

Flue gas desulfurization

Aberthaw B was due for closure, but in June 2005 station owners npower agreed to install new technology to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by installing Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) equipment. This was to reduce sulphur dioxide levels by 90% by 2008, when new European environmental regulations came into place.[5] Construction of the equipment started on 21 June 2006, with a tree-planting ceremony attended by the Welsh Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks, Andrew Davies. The desulfurization FGD project is being carried out by a consortium of ALSTOM and AMEC, which will employ 500 workers on site at the peak of construction.[6]

Nuclear proposal

It has recently been proposed that the plant, along with every other power station in the UK it should be noted, would be a suitable location for a power station using nuclear power based on the existing infrastructure and logistics. However, no political considerations were taken into account for the UK-wide survey, no plans made in spite of the sensational headlines and Aberthaw was not singled out or "earmarked", simply named alongside many other sites. It is generally held that nuclear stations would only be built in remote areas and on existing nuclear sites. Aberthaw is generally considered too close to Cardiff and is in a conservation area, not to mention the number of influential people who live in the Vale of Glamorgan.[7]


See also


External links

  • RWE - Aberthaw Power Station
  • Gathering the Jewels - 1995 picture of Aberthaw Power Station
  • - Photos of Aberthaw Power Station and surrounding area
  • YouTube - Footage of protests at Aberthaw Power Station
  • YouTube - Aberthaw Power Station open day 1989
  • YouTube - Aberthaw Power Station open day 1997


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