E.On appears to have broken away from the pack with its announcement plans for a new gas-fired power station in the UK

German utility group E.On, owners of the UK’s Powergen, has announced plans to build a new £350 million (€518 million) combined cycle gas turbine power station at its Drakelow site in Derbyshire.

The new three unit 1,220 MW plant would be built on the site of the exisiting coal-fired unit and, given prompt regulatory approval, is expected to begin commercial operations towards the end of 2009. The announcement was made at the re-opening of Killingholme Power Station.

However, Dr Paul Golby, chief executive of E.On UK, warned that the UK government must establish firm policies in order to secure future investments, saying: “We ‘d like the government to define how coal plant will operate after 2008 under the Large Combustion Plant Directive. The role of long-term CO2 targets is also critical – as a minimum, the government needs to confirm the CO2 emission caps for Phase 2 of the EU emissions trading scheme, which runs between 2008 and 2012, as soon as possible.”

E.On is also converting its station at the Isle of Grain in Kent to run on gas.