A woman has been arrested after climate change campaigners climbed cranes and blockaded the entrance to the construction site at SSE’s Keadby 2 power station.
As previously reported, the Reclaim The Power campaign group said they were trying to shut down the construction site just off the A18 west of Scunthorpe since Tuesday morning. A number of protestors were taking action against fossil fuels.
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”.
Scottish Energy company SSE plc previously invested £350 million in technology for its new combined cycle gas turbine power station, which will use the first of its kind, high efficiency gas-fired generation technology.
Humberside Police officers are currently in attendance at the site in North Lincolnshire. Chapel Lane has been closed and a police cordon is in place.
Police arrested a woman on suspicion of obstruction of the highway and obstruction of a police officer. She remains in police custody at the time of writing.
Chief Inspector Lee Edwards said: “We have a police presence at the site to ensure public safety and to try and minimise any disruption to the local communities, while still allowing individuals their right to freedom of assembly, association and expression.
“We have closed Chapel Lane and have a police cordon in place at the construction site to assist with the ongoing protest and to maintain everyone’s safety, which is our main priority.
“We are liaising with all those directly involved or affected and we will continue to do so, to prevent any disorder and to make sure the protest remains peaceful.”
Protesting to shut down construction work
Zoe, who has been involved with Reclaim The Power for a number of years, previously told Lincolnshire Reporter: “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.”
Addressing the climate change challenge
A spokesperson for SSE previously 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 blocked 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.