Construction and operation of a gas-fired combined-cycle power station in France authorised

The responsible authorities have authorised the 3CA Project for the construction and operation of a gas-fired combined-cycle power station in the commune of Monchy-au-Bois in Northern France. If everything goes according to plan, construction could still start in 2011 and the plant could be switched on to the grid already in 2014.

The 3CA company (Centrale à Cycle Combiné de l'Artois) is a fully-owned Alpiq subsidiary. 3CA has been founded specifically for the development, construction and operation of the power station in Monchy-au-Bois approximately 80 kilometres from the city of Lille in Northern France. Alpiq is pleased to have been granted the authorisation for the construction and operation of the Monchy-au-Bois gas-fired combined-cycle power station. The authorisation is the result of an exemplary approval process which involved the public authorities, local stakeholders, parliamentarians, voters and the project executing organisation. In the foreseeable future meetings are scheduled with the construction companies as well as the project financing, and for the final investment decision.

The power station could be connected to the supply grid in 2014 The 3CA power station is a part of the French electricity system and will cover a part of the requirement for the secure supply of electricity as forecast by the French government up until 2015. 3CA also complies with the ecological standards of what is known as the "Grenelle Environnement" (Grenelle Environment Round Table, www.legrenelle-environnement.fr). Negotiations with the manufacturers of turbines are underway. Following completion of this decisive phase, 3CA can check the financing and then present an investment decision for approval by the Alpiq Board of Directors.

If everything runs according to plan, the construction of the 3CA power station could be started at the end of 2011 and the plant switched on to the supply grid in 2014. The construction should take around three years during which time up to 400 people would work on the site at Monchy-au-Bois. It would be similar to the gas-fired combined-cycle power station in Bayet (Allier), which was supported by the local service providers and members of parliament.