Sunday, 7 February 2016

Miscellaneous Notes, 7th February 2016

Coal fired power station closures

This week's news brought news of an earlier than expected closure for most of Fiddler's Ferry Power Station. Updated: 11Feb to reflect Rugeley closure.

Not intended as a definitive list, but to give scope to the downsizing of merry-go-round operations which we have seen over the last 50 years. A transition to gas will reduce railway traffic, and we already hear of modern coal hoppers being sent for scrap, Unfortunately this can only be expected to continue, as more than half of our recent historical coal fuelled capacity will be closed by April.

Name County Operator Units Capacity Closure Notes
Aberthaw S Glamorgan RWE 3 @ 520MW 1.6GW by 2023 Also burning biomass
Cottam Notts EDF 4@ 500MW 2GW by 2025
Drax N Yorks Drax Group 6@ 660MW 4GW 3 units burning biomass
Eggborough N Yorks Eggborough Power 4@ 500MW 2GW Mar-16 773MW retained in reserve to Mar -17
Ferrybridge C W Yorks SSE 4@ 500MW 2GW Mar-16 Latterly only 1 unit
Fiddler's Ferry Cheshire SSE 4@ 500MW 2GW Apr-16 Was contracted to 2019, 1 unit to continue derated 
Ironbridge Shropshire E.ON 2@ 500MW 1GW Nov-15
Longannet Fife Scottish Power (Iberdrola) 4@ 600MW 2.4GW Mar-16
Ratcliffe-on-Soar Notts E.ON 4@ 500MW 2GW by 2025
Rugeley Staffs Engie 2@ 500MW 1GW summer 2016
West Burton Lincs EDF 4@ 500MW 2GW by 2025

Of the total of 20.5GW nominally available, going into winter 2015-16, 9.9GW will close by April - 48%, although 0.8GW is to be kept in reserve at Eggborough. This equates to about 20% of typical UK demand, which can be monitored here.

As I write this on a Sunday afternoon, with comfortable temperature for February, coal is providing 5.4GW into the National Grid, this has however peaked at 14 to 15GW during the recent coal snap - and we will only have 10GW nominal total capacity next year.

With the announced closure of much of Fiddler's Ferry, and that at Longannet, the future of Hunterston deep water facility again appears challenging. Originally constructed as an importation location for iron ore for Ravenscraig, this has dispatched coal to both Longannet, Fiddler's Ferry and Drax, the latter generating 2 trains a day in each direction over the Settle & Carlisle route. Fiddlers's Ferry also has gypsum traffic from Newbiggin on the S&C.

FT article 7th February

New Class 66s - the last of the line.

Given the above item, I suspect that more Class 66 may be exported within Europe, as some operators may have excess capacity.

DRS Tender List & disposala

20312 has been withdrawn from the list - so that it can be used for spares for repairs on the remaining fleet, currently at Barrow Hill.

47805 + 20312 + 47790 were dragged to Crewe by 68003 on 5th February: one two three four five six seven eight nine

The 47s are due to transfer to Locomotive Services, where already resident 47501 is understood to have been repainted for further usage.