The UK government has approved the construction of a new GBP400 million, 800MW combined-cycle gas turbine power station near Newport, South Wales. Following the approval, Severn Power revealed that German firm Siemens has been selected as the preferred bidder for the facility's engineering, procurement and construction contract.

The government placed a number of conditions on its approval, including that carbon capture technology can be retrofitted if necessary in the future, and that the necessary plant and pipe works are installed to ensure that the station can supply heat in the future if the opportunity materializes.

Alex Lambie, chief executive of Carron Energy, which owns Severn Power, commented: We are simply thrilled to get the go-ahead for this important project that will create more than 650 skilled jobs, and provide vital electricity generation for South Wales. Mr Lambie went on to say that the project will contribute to Welsh energy self-sufficiency.

Site works have already commenced to prepare the site for building and to create environmental landscaping features that are an integral part of the development. The Severn Power project is due to start commercial operation in 2010, following a 30-month construction period and four months of commissioning.

In addition to the engineering, procurement and construction contract, Siemens has been selected as the preferred bidder for the operation and maintenance agreement, and the long-term service agreement for the Severn Power project.