Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Aberthaw power stations

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Country  Wales, United Kingdom
Primary fuel  Coal
Phone  +44 1446 750271
Operator(s)  RWE npower
Secondary fuel  Biomass
Decommission date  1995
Aberthaw power stations
Location  Barry, Vale of Glamorgan
Status  Operational (Aberthaw B)
Address  The Leys, Aberthaw, Barry CF62 4ZW, United Kingdom
Hours  Open today · 9AM–5PMTuesday9AM–5PMWednesday9AM–5PMThursday9AM–5PMFriday9AM–5PMSaturdayClosedSundayClosedMonday9AM–5PM
Make and model  Associated Electrical Industries
Similar  Barry, Llantwit Major, Rhoose, Barry Angling Centre, Nash Point Lighthouse

Aberthaw Power Station refers to a series of two coal-fired power stations situated on the coast of South Wales, near Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan. It is actually located on the waterfront of the nearby villages of Gileston and West Aberthaw on Limpert Bay. The current power station on the site, Aberthaw B Power Station, co-fires biomass and as of 2008 has a generating capacity of 1560 megawatts (MW). The station is also the location for a trial Carbon Capture system. At 1MW in consumption the trial is to determine whether the technology can be scaled up from lab conditions.



The site of the stations was originally a golf course prior to the construction of the first station. Aberthaw A Power Station opened in February 1966, and at the time was the most advanced power station in the world. Aberthaw B Power Station opened in the early 1970s. The A Station operated until 1995. It was subsequently demolished. Its two 425 feet (130 m) chimneys were the last section to be demolished, and this was done on Saturday, 25 July 1998. The site currently has 3 generating units, each driven by their own Foster-Wheeler boiler. From 2006-2007 new steam turbines were retrofitted, allowing each unit to generate an extra 28-30MW of power each. Each unit is now rated at 520MW.


Aberthaw burns approximately 5000–6000 tonnes of coal a day, contributing 6-7GWHrs per year. The site usually burns two thirds Welsh coal with the remainder being either foreign low-sulphur coal or biomass.

The station takes its entire coal feed stock in by rail, under contract to DBS from the Vale of Glamorgan Line.

Until its closure, the Tower Colliery in Hirwaun supplied much of the coal for Aberthaw. Coal now mainly comes from the Ffos-y-fran Land Reclamation Scheme in Merthyr Tydfil, with other sources including: the Aberpergwm drift and opencast mines in the Neath Valley; and the Cwmgwrach Colliery via the Onllwyn Washery. Further stocks are sourced from abroad, primarily Russia, and shipped in via the Ports of Portbury, Avonmouth and Newport Docks. Operated by DBS coal is also supplied from the Tower Opencast mine based at the site of the original Tower Colliery.

In response to the government's renewable energy obligation that came into effect in April 2002, the station is currently firing a range of biomass materials to replace some of the coal burned. This is due to Welsh coal being less volatile than other coal and as such producing more sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide.

Flue gas desulfurization

Aberthaw B was due for closure, but in June 2005 station owners npower agreed to install new technology to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by installing Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) equipment. This was to reduce sulphur dioxide levels by 90% by 2008, when new European environmental regulations came into place. Construction of the equipment started on 21 June 2006, with a tree-planting ceremony attended by the Welsh Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks, Andrew Davies. The desulfurization FGD project is being carried out by a consortium of ALSTOM and AMEC, which will employ 500 workers on site at the peak of construction.

Nuclear proposal

It has recently been proposed that the plant would be a suitable location for a power station using nuclear power based on the existing infrastructure and logistics. However, it is generally held that nuclear stations would only be built in remote areas and on existing nuclear sites. Aberthaw is generally considered too close to Cardiff and is in a conservation area.

Court case

On 26 March 2015, the BBC reported that the UK government is being taken to court by the European Commission over excess emissions of nitrogen oxides from Aberthaw power station. This issue was raised in the National Assembly for Wales on 10 November 2015 by Bethan Jenkins AM.


Aberthaw power stations Wikipedia

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