Centrica will invest into the South Humber power station to bring it back online in 2017

Centrica upgrades mothballed gas power plant

Energy firm Centrica has invested £63m into upgrades of a partially mothballed gas-fired power station in North East Lincolnshire.

The South Humber power station, which has been offline since earlier this year, will return to full service in 2017. The upgrades will secure the power plant’s future up to 2027.

"This upgrade allows us to secure the future of this important power station for at least another decade,” said Jorge Pikunic, managing director of Centrica's distributed energy and power business.

"We were pleased to see the Government's announcements last week signalling the important role that power stations like South Humber Bank will continue to play for UK security of supply and look forward to hearing more about their plans to support investment in the sector."

Built in 1994, the station has capacity to power over one million homes.

Gas-fired power plants were identified by the UK government as the most cost-effective replacement for coal-fired power generation earlier this month, when Energy Secretary Amber Rudd pledged to phase out coal by 2025 – a decision that would make the UK one of the first developed countries to end the use of the heavily polluting fossil fuel.

Centrica announced its intentions to invest into maintenance and upgrades of its gas fired power stations already in July this year as part of its strategic review.

"This is good news - one of the most cost-effective contributions we can make to emission reductions in electricity is by replacing coal fired power stations with gas,” said a Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman.

"That is why we will be consulting on closing unabated coal-fired power stations and will be prioritising new gas-fired power stations."

However, the focus on gas-fired power generation didn’t please environmentalists, who would prefer to see greater support for renewable power energy generation.

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