Project will reduce pollution at Kilroot power station in Northern Ireland.

Contractor Amec and consortium partner ALSTOM have won a contract to fit new environmental technology to two existing 220 MW coal/oil-fired generating units at the Kilroot power station, near Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The contract, from AES Kilroot Power, will see AMEC and ALSTOM jointly undertaking project management with AMEC responsible for planning, site management, civil and structural design and construction management.

ALSTOM will supply the seawater flue gas desulphurization (SWFGD) air pollution control system that will reduce sulphur dioxide emissions in line with stringent EU emission requirements, as specified in the ‘Large Combustion Plant Directive’ (LCPD).

Work begins immediately and will continue throughout 2006 and 2007.

Flue gas desulphurisation plants remove approximately 95 per cent of the sulphur dioxide produced when generating electricity from coal. The SWFGD system will use the power plant’s seawater coolant to treat the sulphur dioxide from the flue gas. Seawater is alkaline and absorbs and neutralises acidic gases such as sulphur dioxide.

The process does not require any additional chemicals and the only the by-product is dissolved sulphate, which is already a major constituents of seawater, thereby ensuring that the discharged water remains fully compliant with the environmental regulations.

Managing director of AMEC’s industrial business Steve Lee said: “This excellent contract is part of our strategy of providing specialist services to meet the needs of the energy sector, which also includes oil and gas, nuclear and renewables.”

The Kilroot power station supplies around one third of the electricity for Northern Ireland.

This is the second major contract for the AMEC/ALSTOM consortium for a SWFGD system in the UK following the award of Aberthaw Power Station from RWE npower in 2005.