Herbies, Boyce Hatton scoop roles on ‘clean coal’ power station JV

Torquay-based firm Boyce Hatton and Herbert Smith have advised on the UK’s first ‘clean coal’ power generation project – a £1bn, 800MW plant on Teesside.

Herbert Smith, advising Centrica, and Boyce Hatton, advising Progressive Energy, orchestrated a joint venture between the two, which saw Centrica, the owner of British Gas, pay £7.15m for an 85 per cent stake in Progressive Energy subsidiary Coastal Energy.

‘Clean coal’ technology would see the station produce just a third of the carbon of a conventional station, with an estimated 85 per cent of emissions captured and pumped underground into depleted North Sea oil and gas reservoirs.

Herbert Smith energy partner Mark Newbery led the team alongside Centrica European general counsel Adrian Morris.

Newbery said: “The Stern Review has dispelled any doubts as to the need for urgent action on climate change. We believe carbon capture and storage can make an important contribution.”

Boyce Hatton corporate partners Cris Boyce and John Townsend led the advice to Progressive Energy.

If the station gets government and planning approval, construction is expected to begin in 2009, making it the UK’s first newbuild coal-fired power station for 30 years.

Centrica will also take a controlling 55 per cent interest in Coots, a carbon dioxide pipeline company. The power station would be fuelled entirely by UK coal and generate enough electricity for one-million homes.