National Power steps back from Orimulsion

National Power has - for the time being - dropped its applications to burn Orimulsion while it assesses options for flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) and awaits the outcome of the Government's energy review. Meanwhile, HM Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) is hoping to issue integrated pollution control (IPC) authorisations for all power stations by Easter - two years after they were applied for.

Orimulsion, a cheap bitumen-based fuel imported from Venezuela by BP Bitor, has an important role in the fuel strategies of both power generators. But their plans to burn the fuel at power stations without FGD have been criticised because of its high sulphur content.

National Power applied to HMIP for IPC authorisation to burn Orimulsion at its 2,000MW Pembroke station in south Wales and the 225MW Padiham plant in Lancashire. Both current

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