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Moorland Energy licence extension granted
2:22pm Wednesday 13th March 2013 in News
MOORLAND Energy has been granted an extension to its licence as it prepares to extract gas in Ryedale.
The second term of the licence was due to expire at the end of January but has now been extended by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for a further two years. The extension will allow Moorland Energy the time it requires to discharge the pre-commencement planning conditions attached to the recent permission granted by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for the Ryedale Gas Project at Thornton-le-Dale.
Following completion of these works and approval by DECC of Moorland Energy’s field development plan for the Ebberston South field, the licence will be extended for a further 18 years.
Plans for the £50 million gas plant, which could provide power for more than 100,000 homes, were given the go-ahead by Government last July.
Chief executive of Moorland Energy, Lawrie Erasmus, said: “We are obviously very pleased that DECC has extended the second term of our licence to enable us to complete these pre-commencement works before the construction of the Ryedale Gas Project can begin in earnest.
“We will soon be appointing the main contractors for the infrastructure development, which will include the pipeline from the wellhead to the planned processing facility in Hurrell Lane, outside Thornton-le-Dale.”
He added: “The Ryedale Gas Project will make a significant contribution to the local economy and we are most keen to get started.”
Mr Erasmus said he hoped all construction work would be completed to enable gas processing activities to commence from late 2015.
A petition opposing the scheme, which is expected to operate for 20 years, by the Against Having Sour Gas in Thornton (AGHAST) campaign group collected more than 10,000 signatures.
AGHAST said the plant would spoil Ryedale countryside and affect Thornton-le-Dale’s tourist industry, with opponents also claiming the benefits of the facility have been exaggerated and alternatives had not been fully considered.