Climate change campaigners have climbed cranes and blockaded the entrance to the construction site at SSE’s Keadby 2 power station in Lincolnshire.
The Reclaim The Power campaign group say they are trying to shut down the construction site just off the A18 west of Scunthorpe since this morning, with a number of protesters taking action against fossil fuels.
Both gates to site are blocked. No vehicles in or out this morning. More to follow. pic.twitter.com/DAMVruvZq5
— Reclaim The Power (@reclaimthepower) July 30, 2019
The group want to shut down two major gas companies – Drax and SSE – saying “gas is a dirty fossil fuel and will lock us into climate breakdown”.
Zoe, who has been involved with Reclaim The Power for a number of years, told Lincolnshire Reporter that there are around 20 of them protesting at the site and police have also turned up.
She said: “We’ve come here to Keadby 2, which is under construction, and we’ve taken action to shut down the construction work.
“We haven’t had any direct contact with any workers. We climbed up the cranes and people are blockading the gates so vehicles can’t come and go. We want to non-violently shut down the site to slow down the work to make our point that new gas is not the way forward in the face of climate change.
“There are alternatives that mean not pumping more fossil fuels into the air such as wind turbines. We have been protesting since the early hours of the morning and plan to keep it shut down all day.
“We’ve communicated with SSEE about our concerns, but they have ignored us as I don’t think they care about our future health and the environment.”
Work began on the station construction at Keadby 2 in January 2019 to build what is expected to be the most efficient CCGT power station in the UK. Components are scheduled to arrive during early 2020.
Representatives from developer SSE and partner Siemens broke ground at the site in November 2018. Scottish energy company SSE plc previously invested £350 million in technology for its new combined cycle gas turbine power station.
SSE says the power station will use the first of its kind, high efficiency gas-fired generation technology.
It will be constructed as a full turnkey solution by Siemens, which will also provide plant servicing under a 15-year contract.
A spokesperson for SSE said: “We are aware that a group of protesters have gained access to the construction site of Keadby 2 Power Station. Our priority is to ensure the safety of all those on the site and we are working with the police and relevant authorities to resolve the situation.
“SSE’s business strategy addresses the challenge of climate change at its core, as the leading developer, owner and operator of renewable energy across the UK. However, we understand that flexible thermal generation will play a critical role in the transition to ‘Net Zero’ emissions, particularly with the emerging potential for carbon capture and storage technologies.
“When completed, we expect Keadby 2 to be the cleanest and most-efficient gas-fired power station in Europe, displacing less efficient plant from the system, complementing our renewable assets, and safeguarding customers’ power supplies.”
Meanwhile, hundreds of activists from the group are blocking Drax’s HQ in London on Tuesday morning.
This is not the first time the group have protested in the county. In February 2019 two people from the group locked themselves into an ‘arm tube’ at the Lyon & Son HQ gates in Skellingthorpe as part of a nationwide day of action targeting the fracking supply chain.