Electrabel's new power station in Castelnou, Spain generated its first megawatt-hours on April 10, 2006. The Suez-owned firm says that, after two and a half years of construction, the first tests of synchronizing the power station with the Spanish transmission grid operated by Red Electrica de Espagna (REE) have begun.

The combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power station, representing an investment of E320 million, has a maximum generating capacity of 800MW. The electricity produced will be sold by Electrabel to the operator OMEL.

A few days earlier, the Spanish Ministry for Industry had granted Electrabel the administrative authorization for the construction of a combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power station of 1,200MW in Morata de Tajuna in the Madrid region. This power station, the only one authorized to date within the Madrid area, will cover 28% of the region’s annual consumption needs.

The construction represents an investment of E500 million. It is scheduled to enter into service in 2009.

Electrabel CEO Jean-Pierre Hansen commented: The start-up of the Castelnou power station and the granting of the administrative authorization for our power station in Morata de Tajuna are a new step in our development in the Iberian peninsula, joining the numerous developments in the field of wind power, helping us to achieve our objective of having 35,000MW of installed capacity on the European market by 2009, compared with 29,000MW at present.