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RWE npower sets out vision of environmental legacy for Radley

RWE npower, the owner of Didcot A Power Station, today said it had signed an agreement to supply Waste Recycling Group (WRG) with the majority of the coal ash produced by the station over its remaining lifetime. 

Along with the recent £60m investment in new turbines at the gas-fired Didcot B Power Station, today’s deal will ensure the continued production of electricity for over three million people, while supporting the local economy and safeguarding jobs. 

The deal will provide WRG’s Sutton Courtenay site with ash for engineering purposes, and remove the need for disposal at the Radley gravel pits, creating new opportunities for nature conservation. 

RWE npower said it wanted to discuss plans which would effectively see the Thrupp Lake former gravel pit gifted to the local community and managed by a partnership including a wildlife organisation. 

John Rainford, Didcot A station manager said:

“We’re very pleased that we have found such a significant alternative to ash disposal at Radley which protects our ability to generate power whenever it is needed. 

“Our vision for the Thrupp Lake area involves a strong partnership with the Radley community. We are keen to agree a scheme that takes into account the wishes of local people as well as the needs of the area’s ecology. 

“Our main priority is now to engage fully with local people to make sure our plans are developed in partnership with them.” 

Paul Green, Senior Development Manager for WRG, added:

“This is a win-win situation, we no longer need to look elsewhere for capping and engineering materials to use at our site, and the power station has a secure outlet for ash. We can store the ash we don’t need right away for future use. 

“We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and are looking at ways to support RWE and the local community in delivering the best solution for the future of Thrupp Lake.” 

RWE npower said it was also exploring opportunities for further ecological restoration at other parts of the Radley site, including the creation of mixed meadow, woodland and wetland areas with habitats for water fowl, wetland birds and aquatic invertebrates. 

The company said it was prepared to consider conversion of its ‘Sandles’ lakeside house into an educational centre and environment centre. This could allow local people and school children to study the ecology and learn more about environmental issues. 

It aims to bring together funding for the independent ecological management of the area, and is opening discussions with landowners and wildlife organisations including the Northmoor Trust which already manages over 300 hectares of land in Oxfordshire. 

Over the next few months, the company will begin a process of consultation with the community to develop a long term vision for the area. 

Harry Barton, Chief Executive at the Northmoor Trust, said:

“We have had preliminary discussions with npower about our possible involvement in Radley Lakes. The Northmoor Trust is passionate about getting people actively involved in conserving the natural environment. Thrupp Lake is a beautiful site with a lot of opportunity, and it is great news that npower is now in a position to safeguard its future. I look forward to further discussion with npower and other stakeholders.” 

Jenny Standen, Chair of Radley Parish Council, said:

“I am sure that the parish, and those people who have been working so hard to try and save Thrupp Lake, will be delighted at the news and we should congratulate npower and WRG at coming to such an excellent arrangement.” 

Ash deal 

The major deal between the Waste Recycling Group (WRG) and RWE npower will allow around 900,000 tonnes of ash*, the majority produced by the station until its closure, to be used for landfill capping and engineering at WRG’s nearby Sutton Courtenay facility. 

The Thrupp Lake site had been earmarked for ash disposal, and subsequent restoration, by the power station. However good performance in ash recycling and milder weather conditions meant the station produced less ash to manage and plans were suspended in February this year. 

Since then life extension at WRG’s Sutton Courtenay site created an ideal opportunity for further ash utilisation. WRG and npower have now signed a deal after eight months of detailed discussions. 

Notes to Editors: 

*wet ash weight. Ash is mixed with water for transportation.


Other links relevant to this posting                               

The Abingdon Blog

The Abingdon Herald 17 December 2008

The Oxford Mail 17 December 2008 (2)

The Oxford Mail 17 December 2008

RWE Npower’s Original Press Release

Permanent link to this article: http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/rwe-npower-sets-out-vision-of-environmental-legacy-for-radley/