Government support sways Carlton to step on the gas

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The Independent Online

Carlton Power plans to start operating a large gas-fired power station near Manchester in 2016/17, a signal that investors continue to see value in power generation from gas despite months of losses from these plants.

The developer of the 1,520 megawatt Trafford power plant near Manchester is looking for a partner, a utility or overseas investor, to help finance the project, its business development director Mike Benson said.

The company's decision to press ahead with the plant comes on the back of Government confirming gas would play a critical role in Britain's future energy market – despite actively encouraging investment in low-carbon energy resources.

However, energy ministers have repeatedly assured gas investors their fuel will continue to play a role beyond backing up intermittent renewable energy plants.

Gas plants across Europe have been losing money for months as the price of gas has risen, while electricity prices and competing coal prices have fallen.

In Britain, various plant operators, such as utility Centrica, have mothballed their least efficient gas plants to bridge low profit times.