THE official launch of a power station in Carrington - that will create more than 600 jobs - will take place today.

The reception will be hosted by John McSweeney of ESB International, the project owner and developer at Flixton House.

Carrington Power received planning permission in July 2008 for the construction of a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power station on the former Carrington power station site.

The station, which already has connection to the National Grid, will sit alongside the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey.

Preliminary site activities have recently commenced. Site enabling works are programmed to start during 2009 with construction scheduled to commence in early 2010.

During construction more than 600 jobs will be created with a further 50 people employed full-time when the plant is operational in 2013.

Carrington Power will have the potential to provide steam to neighbouring businesses that require a supply, further increasing its efficiency. In addition, enough land is available to incorporate a facility for future requirements to capture and store carbon.

During operation of the plant, natural gas will be delivered via an underground pipe and electricity will be transported via existing overhead lines. Disruption to traffic will, therefore, be kept to a minimum during operation.

There will be a number of key deliveries during the construction period, such as gas turbines and generators. These deliveries will be coordinated with local police and the Highways Authority, and will take place during off-peak traffic times.

A detailed ‘Workers’ Travel Plan’ will also be agreed with Trafford Council to minimise the impact of construction traffic on the road network.

Cllr Susan Williams, leader of Trafford Council will be guest of honour at the launch.

Stakeholders have been invited and will be given a development update.

Cllr Williams said: “We are delighted that this project is now going ahead and this derelict, brownfield site will once again be used for power generation. Trafford Council will continue to work closely with the developer. Carrington is an area in need of regeneration and this project will bring many direct benefits to the Council and local communities”.

ESBI, the international arm of the Irish Republic's Electricity Supply Board (ESB), acquired a controlling interest in the project company, Bridestones, from Carlton Power in October 2008.

ESBI is also a 50 per cent shareholder in Corby Power of Northamptonshire, the first independent power station in Britain.

Additionally, ESBI is co-developing Marchwood Power, a gas-fired power station near Southampton, which is scheduled to enter service later this year.

These projects, together with Carrington Power, will generate enough electricity to supply close to 2.5m homes.

Mr McSweeney said: “There are many challenges facing the British electricity industry, particularly the future energy shortfall. ESBI can help deliver required capacity and brings a wealth of experience to the industry. At a time of economic challenge, ESBI intends to make a significant inward investment in the British market, and Carrington Power is a key development in this strategy.”

ESBI intends to invest more than £3bn in the international energy sector. Plans are underway to build more than 3,000 megawatts of gas-fired and renewable generation plants in the UK by 2020, and Carrington Power is the latest step in that scheme.

ESBI acknowledged that new generating capacity must be built in the UK to replace the ageing coal plants that are due to close in the next few years, as well as most of the nuclear plants, which are already in the process of being decommissioned.

The new plant at Carrington will help to meet the shortfall resulting from these closures.