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    Vitol Snaps up 3.3 GW of UK Gas Power


Renewables will need to be complemented by highly-efficient gas generation for the foreseeable future, Vitol says.

by: Joe Murphy

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Vitol Snaps up 3.3 GW of UK Gas Power

Global commodities trader Vitol has struck a deal to acquire four combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants in the UK with a combined capacity of 3.3 GW from Drax Smart Generation, it said on December 15.

The stations – Blackburn Mill in Lancashire, Damhead Creek in Kent, Rye House in Hertfordshire and Shoreham in West Sussex – will complement Vitol subsidiary VPI Holdings' combined heat and power plant in Immingham in North Lincolnshire, Vitol said. The deal, due to close by the end of January, will make VPI one of the UK's biggest CCGT operators, it said.

Vitol did not disclose the purchase price, but said over 50% of it was underwritten via awarded capacity market contracts that VPI will receive from Drax.

CCGT plants are the most efficient and cleanest form of gas-fired generation. There are advanced CO2 abatement projects at over 2 GW of the capacity Vitol is acquiring, the company said, noting that decarbonised gas was expected to play an essential role in the UK's generation mix.

"VPI is committed to being part of the UK's pathway to Net Zero. For the foreseeable future, renewables will need to be complemented by highly efficient gas generation," VPI manager David Brignall said. "These assets, which both enable VPI to provide essential services to the grid across England and are developing their own carbon abatement programmes, will contribute to achieving Net Zero."