From: Reuters
Published October 8, 2007 09:07 AM

Greenpeace tries to stop UK coal fired power plant

LONDON (Reuters) - Environmental campaigners attempted to close the Kingsnorth coal fired power station in England on Monday in protest over plans to build another carbon dioxide emitting plant at the site.

Greenpeace said its campaigners stopped the conveyor belts feeding coal into the plant in Kent, while others climbed the 1,000 steps to the top of the chimney in an effort to close the power station.

But a spokesman for plant operator E.ON UK said it was still operating on Monday morning, with "extensive stocks" of coal already in the power station.

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He said the plant may close if the protestors are not removed and the coal runs out but he could not say how long it could run on the available fuel.

Greenpeace said the coal in the plant would only last a few hours.

Kingsnorth has four generation units of 485 megawatts each. One of them stopped last week but the others were still producing normally at 9.30 a.m. (0830 GMT) on Monday, according to National Grid data.

E.ON wants to build another coal fired generation unit at the plant near Rochester and Greenpeace wants Prime Minister Gordon Brown to reject the plan.

They plan to abseil down the stack painting "Gordon Bin It" as they go, arguing that building more dirty coal plants will add to global warming.

"It's astonishing that, despite the massive threat we face from global warming, there are plans to build climate wrecking coal fired power stations in the UK for the first time in over 30 years, starting with one right here in Kent," Greenpeace energy expert Robin Oakley said in a statement.

"Brown should be investing instead in energy efficiency, renewable energy and decentralized energy."

E.ON says its coal plant will be cleaner than older ones and that the plant emissions could be buried underground using carbon capture and storage (CCS) but the technology is still not commercially viable.

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