EDF pushes back UK gas plant opening to early 2013

LONDON Fri Nov 9, 2012 11:55am GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - EDF Energy (EDF.PA) plans to start commercial operations at its new 1,300 megawatt West Burton gas-fired power plant in Britain in early 2013, the company said on Friday, slightly later than previously announced.

"Unit 3 is scheduled to first fire at the end of the year, with all three units running through commissioning and testing activities through to full commercial operation in early 2013," EDF Energy said in a statement.

It had previously said the plant would start full operations in 2012.

A group of environmental protesters interrupted commissioning work at the plant last week when they chained themselves to two of the site's chimneys.

The last protesters left the station on Monday and were arrested by police, a spokesman for EDF Energy said, adding that the protests were not related to the plant's start-up delay.

Two units at West Burton have now connected to Britain's electricity grid, meaning they have started producing power for the network.

National Grid data showed unit 1 at West Burton was generating around 18 MW of power and unit 3 was producing 430 MW at 11:48 a.m. British time.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by Jane Baird)

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