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Richborough Power Station - Decommissioned

Thu, 05/11/09 - 12:18 - admin
Energy     Transparent     

United States
51° 18' 37.8072" N, 51° 18' 37.8072" E


Field Notes

Richborough Power Station was built in the late 50's and from 1962 - 1971 Richborough burned over 3 million tonnes of coal, most of which came from the nearby kent coalfields. In 1971 the station was converted to run on oil, but usage of the site became costly as the price of oil prices rose during the 1973 Oil crisis. In 1989 the plant underwent a major refurbishment and in 1990 trials were started on an experimental new fuel called Orimulsion.

Orimulsion is a cheap heavy oil and water based emulsion produced form natural bitumen in Venezuela, initial results suggested it would make a cheap clean fuel alternative to oil...The "Orimulsion" bubble was burst when a local farmer claimed damages against the plants owners powergen for the loss of his crops. Around the same time local people began to notice damage to the paintwork of their cars - linked to acid rain coming form sulphur emissions form the plant

With the growing concerns about the impact on the local environment Richborough ceased generating in early 1996 nearly 6 years after beginning its trial. Court case settled in an 11th hour agreement with the farmer when Powergen agreed to an out of court settlement thought to be worth £3-4 million.

All trials of Orimulsion in the UK were abandoned and there are no plans to restart them.