Centrica to sell two gas power plants for £318m

Combined-cycle gas turbines will be bought by Czech owner of Eggborough and Lynemouth power stations

Centrica has agreed to sell its Langage and South Humber Bank combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants for £318 million.

The deal is part of the group’s strategy to shift investment towards its customer facing businesses, whilst seeking opportunities for flexible peaking plants, storage and distributed energy and reducing its focus on large-scale baseload generation.

The plants in Devon and Lincolnshire have a combined capacity of 2.3GW and will be sold to the UK subsidiary of the Czech utility firm EPH. The sale is subject to EU merger clearance and is expected to be wrapped up during the second half of this year.

EPH already owns the Lynemouth and Eggborough coal-fired power stations. Lynemouth is currently undergoing a conversion to run on biomass after shutting down in late 2015.

Eggborough remains open and secured capacity market contracts for the coming winter in the year-ahead (T-1) early auction in January.

The plant’s operator, Eggborough Power, recently applied for consent to build three new CCGTs on the site with a total output of 2.5GW as replacements for the old power station.

In the most recent four-year-ahead (T-4) capacity market auction in December, Centrica secured agreements for two new peaking plant facilities at Brigg in Lincolnshire and Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, both of which will make use of gas-fired reciprocating engines.

The group also won new-build contracts for a 49MW battery storage development in Cumbria as well as a 370MW CCGT project on the site of a mothballed power station in Norfolk.

Yesterday, the British Gas-owner revealed plans to close its Rough gas storage facility – the largest in the UK – due to concerns it had become unsafe and uneconomic. The development led industry figures to raise concerns over the security of gas supplies and Britain’s reliance on imports.