THE decision to bar Newport City Council from approving an application for further conversion works at Uskmouth Power Station has been welcomed by an environmental group.

Friends Of the Gwent Levels (FOGL) has supported the Welsh Government’s intervention in a planning application to convert the Uskmouth Power station into what the group called "a damaging incinerator for burning plastic waste imported from England".

The Uskmouth Power Station conversion project proposes to generate electricity from fuel pellets made from non-recyclable waste, creating a “world first” blueprint for other coal-fired power stations to follow.

The waste used to create the pellets would otherwise be sent to landfill or incinerated.

The proposals up for consideration include erecting silos, conveyors, a de-dusting plant and an extension to a rail unloading shed.


Last week ministers responded to requests from FOGL and other organisations to prevent Newport City Council from granting the application.

FOGL – a grassroots campaigning organisation – have "a mission to protect the landscape and biodiversity of the Gwent Levels from developments they deem damaging".

Catherine Linstrum, of FOGL, said: "There’s a reason why the dirty coal power station was closed down – and that’s because we’re in the midst of a climate and biodiversity emergency.

"Approving plastic incineration in the Gwent Levels drives a coach and horses through the Welsh Government’s policies on climate, carbon emissions."

FOGL are worried that development across the Gwent Levels is putting sensitive ecosystems at risk.

They are calling on the Welsh Government to call in the application formally, before turning it down.

A spokesperson for SIMEC Atlantis Energy (SAE) commented: “The Coal fired power station at Uskmouth has been a feature of the skyline since the 1960s and remains an example of visionary architecture and world class engineering. This iconic power station whilst not in service can readily be recommissioned to provide critical power to the National Grid.

"SAE wants to re-purpose this  power station to move away from coal and take fuel pellets that reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and help tackle the growing landfill crisis in Wales and the UK. The fuel pellets are made from a blend of biogenic materials and plastics that can’t be recycled and mostly end up in landfill.

"By repurposing the existing station and infrastructure to no longer run on coal the project will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prevent over 1.3 million tonnes of waste going to landfill, create over 400 jobs during the repurposing phase,  and create over 100 jobs in the ongoing operation and maintenance of the plant over the plant lifetime."