Nuon’s shareholders have given their approval for the construction of the first phase of Magnum, a 1200 MW coal gasification plant located in Holland’s Groningen province.

The first phase involves the construction of a Euros 1.5 billion gas fired power plant that can later be converted into a multi-fuel integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant. The gas-fired section should start delivering power in early 2011, says Nuon.

Ultimately the Magnum plant will be able to use a range of different fuels such as biomass, coal and gas. Nuon will now enter final negotiations with contractors for the construction of the gas-fired section.

Nuon says it has chosen IGCC technology for the project as it combined sustainability with production capacity. “Investments in large-scale production capacity are required at this moment, so that we can also secure the supply of sufficient and affordable power 30 years from now. Additionally, Nuon has elected a technology that clearly goes a step further in making electricity production more sustainable. Our shareholders support that,” said Nuon CEO Ludo van Halderen.