The chief executive of the UK’s largest coal-fired power plant, Drax, says her company is considering investment in gas-fired power generation plants.

Dorothy Thompson said the company’s decision depends on what details emerged from the UK government’s electricity market reforms.

Thompson said new gas-fired power plants may well be needed to head off the danger of power cuts, within the next three to five years.

Dorothy Thompson - Drax
Referring to the difficulty being posed by ageing plants retiring and delays in newer plants being added, she said, “There are credible scenarios where the UK could have insufficient [generating] capacity,” she said. “It is absolutely necessary to bring on new gas generation. We need to recognise that to ensure we have the available capacity.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne has paved the way for up to 30 new gas-fired powered plants being built by 2030.

Drax also said it was investing further in biomass as a low-carbon alternative to coal and this project along with its investment in two pellet-producing plants in the US, to feed its boilers with sustainable fuel, would amount to about £550m-£600m in total.

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