Uskmouth power stations

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Uskmouth power stations
Uskmouth power station.jpg
Uskmouth B Power Station
Viewed from the south east, September 2007
Country Wales, United Kingdom
Location Newport
Coordinates 51°32′57″N 2°58′14″W / 51.549071°N 2.970539°W / 51.549071; -2.970539Coordinates: 51°32′57″N 2°58′14″W / 51.549071°N 2.970539°W / 51.549071; -2.970539
Status A station: Demolished
B station: Operational
Commission date A station: 1950s
B station:
Decommission date A station: 1981
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Coal
Tertiary fuel Biomass
Power generation
Nameplate capacity A station: 228 MW
B station: 363 MW

The Uskmouth power stations (also known as the Fifoots Point power stations) refers to a series of two coal-fired power station at the mouth of the River Usk in the south-east of Newport, Wales. The first of the two station, Uskmouth A power station, was built in the 1950s and demolished in 2002. The second station, Uskmouth B power station, was built in the 1960s and is currently undergoing a conversion to run on Biomass.

Uskmouth A[edit]

Uskmouth A power station was built and opened in the early 1950s.[1] It was closed on 26 October 1981 with a generating capacity of 228 megawatts.[2] The station was demolished in 2002[3]

Uskmouth B[edit]

Uskmouth B power station (or Uskmouth Power as it is now known) was built in 1959.[4] It has a generating capacity of 363 MW, which is enough to power 360,000 homes, or the surrounding area of Newport.[5][6] The electricity is provided by three generating sets.[5] It is situated in an essential position for the National Grid, as there are very few power stations situated in the south of Wales.[6] Initially operated by the Central Electricity Generating Board, the station's operations were handed over to National Power with privatisation in 1990. The station was then closed in 1995.[7] But in 1998, it was purchased by AES.[8] The station was given a £120 million refurbishment to bring it up to date with legislative requirements. New environmental equipment was installed and it was given a refurbishment which is thought to have extended the station's life by 25 years.[6] The station's generating capacity was also increased to 393 MW.[8] In 2001 the work was completed and the station was reopened. However, only a year later the plant passed into receivership, but had a brief period of operating in the winter between 2003 and 2004. In June 2004 the station was put back into full operation, when it was bought by Welsh Power, who were then known as Carron Energy.[1] Welsh Power sold it to SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy plc) in 2009 for £27m.[9] In April 2013 one of the three remaining blocks was closed, so the power station has now a remaining generation capacity of 260 MW.[10]

View of the power station from Newport Wetlands Reserve

The station was one of the cleanest coal-fired power stations in the United Kingdom,[11][12][13] and was fitted with Flue Gas Desulphurisation equipment and low NOx burners. It also burns biomass, as well as coal, for its emissions to be considered closer to being carbon neutral.[6] The station does not take water from or dump waste water into the River Usk. It instead uses secondary treated sewage water in its cooling system.[14]

The station employed 90 people.[4] It has been awarded RoSPA Gold Award for Occupational Health and Safety for its efforts to ensure station safety. The station's owners have participated in many local community projects – they donated land to the Newport Wetlands Reserve, and sponsor Welsh swimmer David Davies and the Newport Gwent Dragons.[6]

The station was earmarked for closure in 2014 and subsequently mothballed.[15] However, in 2015, plans were announced to instead convert the station to run fully on biomass, as part of a scheme to regenerate the area and create hundreds of jobs.[16] These plans have since taken priority and as a result, Uskmouth has seen very infrequent use as a coal plant; with April 2017 being the last occasion.[17][18]

Gas-fired station[edit]

An 832 megawatt (MW) Combined Cycle Power Plant gas-fired power station has been built on the site of the A station by Siemens for Severn Power, a subsidiary of DONG Energy.[19] It was initially reported that it would cost £400 million to build and create 650 construction jobs.[3]

Severn Power Station comprises two gas turbines and two steam turbines each operating on a single shaft. The power station entered commercial operations in November 2010.

Originally owned and operated by the Danish company, Dong Energy, the station was acquired by MPF Holdings Limited in December 2013, which changed its name to Calon Energy in summer 2015.[20]

Uses in culture[edit]

In 2006, the station was used as a location for two episodes of Doctor Who. In the episodes "Rise of the Cybermen" and "The Age of Steel", the station was used as the setting for the Cybermen Factory.[21] It was then used again for the 2011 Christmas special "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" as spaceship corridors, filmed on 20 September 2011.[22] In 2014, the station was once again used for two episodes, respectively "Into the Dalek"[23] and "Time Heist".[24]


  1. ^ a b "The history of power generation at Uskmouth". Retrieved 2008-11-19.  External link in |work= (help)
  2. ^ Mr. Redmond (16 January 1984). "Coal-fired Power Stations". Hansard. Retrieved 1 September 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "£400m power station bid approved" (STM). BBC. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-19.  External link in |work= (help)
  4. ^ a b Blake, Aled (19 July 2005). "£400m power station may create 645 jobs". Western Mail. Retrieved 2008-11-19.  External link in |work= (help)
  5. ^ a b "SALE OF POWER STATION BY THE RUTLAND FUND" (PDF). 25 April 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-19.  External link in |work= (help)
  6. ^ a b c d e "Welcome to Uskmouth Power". Retrieved 2008-11-19.  External link in |work= (help)
  7. ^ "Generation disconnections since 1991". 2003. Archived from the original on 8 May 2003. Retrieved 5 October 2009.  External link in |work= (help)
  8. ^ a b "Rotork actuators in power station refurbishment". 18 October 2000. Retrieved 2008-11-19.  External link in |work= (help)
  9. ^ "Acquisition of Uskmouth power station". Retrieved 2010-09-26.  External link in |work= (help)
  10. ^ "Uskmouth power station closure" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-06.  External link in |work= (help)
  11. ^ "Steelmaker's efforts to improve environmental impact sees CO2 levels halved since the 1970s". Wales Online. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  12. ^ "Veolia Water Industrial Outsourcing has signed a 10-year outsourcing contract with Uskmouth Power". Veolia Water. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  13. ^ "Clean Coal Technology". UK Parliament Publications and Records. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  14. ^ "Water". Retrieved 2008-11-19.  External link in |work= (help)
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Severn Power webpage". Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  20. ^ Calon Energy home page
  21. ^ "Uskmouth Power Plant converted to cybermen factory". 12 May 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-19.  External link in |work= (help)
  22. ^ "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe - The Fourth Dimension". BBC. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  23. ^ "Into the Dalek: Fact File". Doctor Who. BBC One. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  24. ^ "Time Heist: The Fact File". Doctor Who. BBC One. Retrieved 21 September 2014.