ENGIE Announces £50m Investment in Ffestiniog Power Station in North Wales

ENGIE has signed a construction contract to support delivery of a £50 million programme of refurbishment works at its Ffestiniog Power Station, part of the 2 GW First Hydro pumped storage operation in Snowdonia, North Wales.

The contract, agreed with German engineering firm Voith Hydro, covers the refurbishment of Units 1 and 2, with an option for the refurbishment of Units 3 and 4 at a later date.  Design, planning and component production work are due to start immediately, while work on site is expected to start at the end of 2018.  The refurbishment is due to be completed by early 2020.

Ffestiniog Power Station was commissioned in 1963 and was the UK’s first major pumped storage power facility.  Ffestiniog’s four generating units are capable of achieving a combined output of 360 MW – enough to supply the entire electricity needs of North Wales for several hours.  The announced refurbishment of Units 1 and 2 is a mid-life refurbishment, and will ensure the operational life is extended for at least a further 20 years.

The power plant will therefore continue to play a significant role in the UK’s energy mix.  In addition to providing a fast and reliable source of electricity that helps balance the nation’s electricity supply during peak times, flexible sources of power such as Ffestiniog are important for integrating increased renewable capacity so the UK can meet its carbon reduction targets at lowest cost to the consumer.

Wilfrid Petrie, CEO of ENGIE in the UK & Ireland, said:

“ENGIE is delighted to announce this investment in Ffestiniog and our partnership with Voith Hydro to deliver this important project.  This contract was awarded to Voith Hydro based on their technically thorough and competitively priced solution.  This is a major commitment to infrastructure development in Wales, and confirms ENGIE’s position as one of the UK’s leading producers of flexible, low carbon energy.” 

Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said:

“This is welcome news for Ffestiniog and shows ENGIE’s commitment to the region.  The investment will provide long term job security for local people as well as a strong commitment to low carbon energy generation in Wales.  On a visit to First Hydro earlier this year I heard about ENGIE’s plans for refurbishing the Ffestiniog Power Station so it’s great to see this moving forward.”

First Hydro Company, which is currently jointly owned by ENGIE (75%) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (25%)*, comprises Ffestiniog Power Station (360 MW) and Dinorwig Power Station (1,728 MW).

* On 21st July 2017 Mitsui announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell its stake in First Hydro Company to Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P.