Capacity will be expanded from 730MW to 1,180MW. The capacity expansion will make the Immingham combined heat and power (CHP) plant, already Europe’s largest CHP station, one of the world’s largest and most efficient power stations, and an additional source of low carbon heat and power for the UK, ConocoPhillips said.

The plant provides steam heat and electrical power to ConocoPhillips’ Humber refinery and steam heat to Total’s Lindsey oil refinery. By combining the production of heat and power, Immingham CHP uses 20% less fuel and produces 25% less carbon than the alternative of producing heat and power separately.

With the expansion, the plant will now contribute 12% toward the UK’s CHP target of 10GW by 2010.

If current studies demonstrate economic feasibility, the enlarged Immingham CHP could also be modified to utilize gasification technology to operate as a ‘clean coal’ facility with carbon dioxide stored or used for enhanced oil recovery.

This major long-term investment by ConocoPhillips is timely in view of the UK government’s ongoing industry support for combined heat and power, noted Bob Hassler, president of ConocoPhillips’ European downstream operations.