Knapton Generating Station
History is Repeating Itself
Knapton Generating Station has provided an uninterrupted source of power since the plant opened in 1995. It was planned and built by Kelt UK Ltd at a cost of £30m to exploit the gas from the fields at Malton, Marishes and Kirby Misperton, the gas being taken to Knapton by underground pipeline. The plant was designed to the highest standards of the time and it still functions safely and efficiently today. The electricity is generated by an LM6000 gas turbine, an industrial version of an aero engine which powers many Boeing 747, 767 and Airbus aircraft. At full production it generates around 40MW of electricity, sufficient for around 40 000 homes. Since 1995 KGS has generated over 2 000 000MW Hrs of electricity using about 30 billion cubic feet of gas. Knapton Generating Station is well screened by tall trees and lies at the end of a long drive. As a result of this not many people in Ryedale are aware of its location and certainly visitors to the area would never suspect its presence.
All of this is in stark contrast to the apocalyptic myths and scaremongering stories that were being promoted by the protestors over 20 years ago. A protest group called RAGE (Ryedale Against Gas Exploitation) mounted a campaign telling the locals that the generating station would pollute the area with toxic emissions. Kelt argued that the omissions would be small and many times less than the pollution created from the car exhausts of the tourists to the Ryedale area. RAGE insisted that the gas turbine would be noisy and would create an intrusion. They said the plant would be visible for miles around and that once given a foothold, the petrochemical industry would industrialise Ryedale and turn it into another Teeside. They claimed that the tourist, farming and even horse racing industries would all suffer. Twenty years on and we know now that the apocalypse did not happen and that the local gas industry has integrated happily and unobtrusively within Ryedale, providing jobs and electricity to the local community.
Does this all sound familiar to what we are hearing today from those protestors like FFR (Frac Free Ryedale) who are against hydraulic fracturing in Ryedal? History is repeating itself, the difference today is that the power of the internet can be used to find unreliable sources of data to spread fears and hysteria across a wider audience.
An example from the past is provided below.
On 13 July 1990 the Scarborough Evening News ran the headline PROTEST WALK-OUT ON POWER STATION PLAN. The article reads: 'Amid angry scenes, a Knapton villager led the protest walk-out after being told that Kelt UK bosses would give a 15 minute slide show to outline their plans. He said residents had not invited the company and had all the information they needed from the press.'
If you were to replace the word “press” with the word “internet”, it could apply today.
Third Energy's application to hydraulically fracture at their existing KM8 well at Kirby Misperton is 2015's version of the building of Knapton Generating Station. Instead of fighting the gas industry, we should be working with them to ensure that they deliver on their promises to produce the gas safely and cleanly, providing both jobs and power for the next generation.
Knapton Generating Station for the last 20 years has been supplied by conventional gas well sites scattered across Ryedale.
Ebberston Moor & Ebberston Moor South
The PL-077 licence, held by Third Energy, lies across Ebberston Moor within the North York Moors National Park. The Ebberston Moor gas field (originally called Lockton) was discovered in 1966 and produced gas between May 1971 and 1974. Since the 1970s further discoveries of gas have been made in the area.
Third Energy is taking forward the Ebberston Moor South development, in a 50/50 joint venture with Moorland Energy Limited (MEL), the adjacent licence holder. The Ebbertson Moor South gas field straddles Third Energy’s PL-077 and MEL’s PEDL-120 licence blocks.
Gas produced from the existing Ebberston Moor South well will be transported via a new 14 kilometre pipeline to the Knapton Generating Station. To improve reservoir performance, the development will include an additional well for water production and disposal.