4 Aug 14

Hunterston B power station boosts local economy

One of the two units at Hunterston B power station has been temporarily switched off (1/8/14) for its statutory outage: one of its biggest yet.

With the high-performing nuclear power station injecting around £90 million of economic benefit to the West of Scotland economy this year through salaries, work done by contractors and investment projects, this outage is good news for North Ayrshire.

An outage at a power station is similar to a car having an MOT and service but on a much bigger scale. Each of the two generating units at Hunterston B is switched off every 3 years for routine inspections and maintenance when our engineers will complete a number of improvement projects on the site at the same time.

The outage is the culmination of two years of meticulous planning. More than 13,000 separate pieces of work are scheduled to be completed, with a total spend of over £20 million. All this work will make sure the power station continues to provide electricity for more than 1.4 million homes in Scotland.

The number of workers on site will nearly double with around 500 specialist workers brought in to assist Hunterston B staff.

Local suppliers in Ayrshire are set to take a share of contracts worth tens of thousands of pounds to the local economy. Amongst the local firms set to benefit will be Stevenston firms Scott Engineering and McEvoy Engineering,.

Number 42, a B&B in Largs, will be amongst many hotels, caravan parks and B&B’s putting up contractors while they are based at the station.

Colin Weir, station director said: “Once again Hunterston B will turn to a number of local firms, with whom we have a tried and trusted relationship, to provide essential services during this outage. We are impressed by the high standards of the companies we work with and the quality of their workmanship. These companies will work alongside specialist firms from across the world, who are leaders in their field.”

Hunterston B nuclear power station has produced more than 255 TWh of low carbon electricity for Scotland since it started producing power in 1976. Over 39 years this has provided power for around 1.4 million homes per year in the UK (58% of Scottish homes).This has avoided 4.3 million tonnes of CO2 per year, and in the total 39 years of operation, 169 million tonnes of CO2. This is equivalent to taking all of the passenger cars off the UK's roads for 2.6 years.

Throughout the outage the Hunterston B Visitor Centre will remain open for business .You can visit the centre Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm or at weekends between 10 am and 4pm. If you would like a plant tour you will need to book in advance on 01294 826008 or you can e-mail hunterstonbtours@edf-energy.com