Kingsnorth is a 1940MW dual-fired power station. This means that each of its four main units is capable of using both coal and oil. Kingsnorth also have the capability to burn biomass products, which can replace up to 10% of the coal used in generation; this is dependent on coal type. Typically the biomass used is a cereal co-product which is sourced from the UK and Europe.
Located on the Medway Estuary in Kent, Kingsnorth has a port facility which enables the importation of coal. This is particularly useful as it means we can import low sulphur coal easily to this site.
E.ON has it's own fleet of Colliers, the Sir Charles Parson & Lord Hinton, which were specially designed to operate in shallow coastal waters. These are supplemented by self unloading colliers.
Other actions taken to minimise our environmental impact at Kingsnorth include low NOx Burners and SO3 injection to improve precipitator performance.
There is also a once-through cooling water system at Kingsnorth which means that there are no evaporation losses or concentration effect, thus reducing environmental impact on the river. The onsite waste management plan means that general waste is minimised and paper, cardboard, scrap metal and waste oils are recycled. Furnace bottom ash and pulverised fuel ash are sold to the construction industry; this reduces our landfill requirements.
Protecting the Environment at Kingsnorth
On three sides the Kingsnorth site adjoins the Medway Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Ramsar Special Protection Area (SPA). The salt marsh island of Oakham is within the SSSI and is run by the power station as a nature reserve. It is used by thousands of wildfowl and waders during migration periods and also supports nesting avocets. One of the Bobtailed Godwits ringed at Kingsnorth has been tracked to Portugal, then to Holland and onto Iceland.
During 2002 work on the sea wall on the Oakham Island nature reserve was completed which should prevent the interior being inundated by spring tides. As well as normal coppicing and pollarding in the nature reserve, an area has been selectively thinned to create a stand of silver birch woodland. This will allow light to penetrate and encourage growth ground plant communities. Two new species of orchid – the Broad Leaved Helleborine and the Autumn Lady Tresses have been found here. Additionally, two new species of bird have been seen here – bringing the site list up to 200.
Kingsnorth and Grain, its sister power station located close by, play a very active role in the local community. Close links have existed for many years with the nearest two schools, St James Primary and High Halstow Primary school. Further afield there are links with many other schools in the form of talks and projects. Kingsnorth and Grain have a substantial nature study centre in two converted farm cottages at Kingsnorth, and a smaller refurbished port-a-cabin at Grain. The Grain facility is mainly used by the local primary school. The Kingsnorth centre was opened by Bill Oddie in 1989, and has purpose-built freshwater pools for study. The facilities have received both regional and national awards for providing a place where visitors may interact with the environment. Visitors range from local schools and colleges, to scouting and community groups.