Back up power for your community


Centrica is developing proposals to build a new gas-fired back-up power plant at Brigg.

We recently began work to demolish some now defunct equipment at the power station, known as the ‘steam cycle’. The most visible aspect of the demolition work, the dismantling and recycling of the site’s four distinctive chimneys was completed in March 2016. The demolition work on the rest of the site is continuing over the summer.

We also wanted to let you and your neighbours know about plans we have to build a new small gas plant to sit alongside the existing power station. We have submitted a planning application to North Lincolnshire council, which is available to view on the council’s planning portal, by searching PA/2016/565.

What we are planning

We’re proposing to build a small gas-fired plant that would sit next to the existing power station. The new plant would be capable of producing approximately 50MW, enough to meet the needs of around 50,000 homes, and would operate mainly during periods of high demand.                                          

It would be built in the location of the old fuel oil tanks, which will be removed in the coming weeks as part of the ongoing demolition work

Key facts

  • Brigg power station was built in 1993
  • Capable of supplying power to almost 100,000 homes
  • Project to use land on the site being developed
  • New plant would help meet peak energy demand
  • Additional supply for 50,000 homes
What’s happening on site?

Once the project to dismantle the old steam cycle equipment is finished later this year, it will free up valuable space in which we hope to introduce a new smaller plant to further support local security of supply. The land we’re looking to develop is where the old oil fuel tanks currently stand.

Brigg new gas-fired plant location

The above map shows the existing site layout and the area where we plan to develop a new gas-fired plant.

The new gas-fired plant

The new plant would be run independently of the existing power station at Brigg. We plan to build it on a small section of land (approximately half a hectare) where the fuel oil tanks are currently located.

Example Site Diagram

View larger diagram


The plant’s main engine house would resemble a warehouse structure (no more than 14 metres in height) and would contain up to five small reciprocating gas engines. The heights of the chimneys are being calculated but shouldn’t be taller than 30 metres, which is less than half the height of the site’s four chimneys which stood at 70 metres high. The graphic below has been designed to reflect the maximum potential scale of our plans.

Site Elevation 30m Chimney

Unlike the existing plant, which uses gas turbines, we’re proposing to use technology similar to a car engine to generate power. Reciprocating engines burn fuel, in this case gas, with air to produce hot gases that are used to drive a piston up and down. In a car the power generated by the piston is used to drive the wheels. However in a power plant like this, the motion of the pistons will be used to drive the generator, which produces the electricity.

The plant would be operated as a highly flexible ‘peaking plant’ meaning that the engines can reach full load from a cold standstill within five minutes. To put this into context, a larger conventional power station would take several hours.

The plant would typically run for only a few hours on weekdays to meet periods of high demand or to provide back-up power when it’s needed. 


Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen to the existing power station?

Brigg Power Station will continue to supply energy for almost 100,000 homes in the local area when required. The new plant will complement the existing site by providing fast response capabilities and help to secure the future energy needs of the local area.

Why is this needed?

Due to the intermittent nature of renewable energy (such as wind and solar) and the phasing out of older, coal power stations, there is a growing need for new energy solutions that can respond quickly to local demands and provide a secure supply of energy. Gas engine technology is an efficient, responsive technology that can be relied upon to generate power at very short notice, in this case reaching full power within five minutes.

Will it be noisy?

No. For the majority of the time there will be little or no noise produced because the engines will not be running. In addition, the engines will all be housed in a sound insulated engine hall to minimise any noise when the plant is in use.

What about emissions?

Like Brigg Power Station the proposed plant will use gas, one of the cleanest fuels available, which together with clean combustion technology will keep emissions as low as possible. Each exhaust stack will feature emissions monitoring facilities and we will work with North Lincolnshire Council and the Environment Agency to ensure the site meets all applicable legal limits.

Will this mean more jobs?

The back-up plant is designed to be operated remotely and will only require occasional maintenance visits, so new jobs are not likely as a result of these plans.  

Will there be a lot of traffic during construction?

Some construction traffic will be inevitable during the construction. Once operational the site would only require routine maintenance visits. Construction work on the new proposal is not planned until 2017 at the earliest. 

Is it safe?

Yes. This is a very safe and well tested technology, which will be monitored around the clock.

Have your say

We hope this has explained what we’re planning to do and why. North Lincolnshire Council will be in touch soon as part of the formal consultation process, giving you a chance to provide feedback and make any comments.

If you have any questions in the meantime you can get in touch with the team by emailing or calling (Freephone) 0800 294 0616.