New gas-fired turbines go live at Kilroot power station

Launch of new turbines comes six months after end of coal generation at Carrickfergus

Kilroot power station was acquired by EPH in 2019.
Kilroot power station near Carrickfergus ,Northern Ireland.. Image shot 03/2010. Exact date unknown. Kilroot power station was acquired by EPH in 2019. (Alamy Stock Photo)

The Prague-based energy group that owns the Kilroot power station in Carrickfergus has announced its new gas turbines exported electricity into the grid for the first time at the weekend.

EP UK Investment, a subsidiary of Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH), acquired Kilroot and Ballylumford power stations in 2019.

The coal fired turbines at Kilroot stopped producing electricity on September 30 2023 as part of the efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Around 15% of electricity had been generated from coal in Northern Ireland before it was phased out.

EPUKI said the successful first export from the first new open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) at the Kilroot power dtation site took place on Sunday (March 24),

The gap between the closure of the coal-fired turbines and the commissioning of the new gas turbines had raised questions over potential black outs.

But just a single amber alert was raised for 90 minutes in January 2024 throughout the interim period.

An EPUKI Spokesperson said: “The new OCGTs at Kilroot represent a significant investment by EPUKI in Northern Ireland and this lower carbon flexible generation will support the transition towards Northern Ireland’s Net Zero climate targets.

‘’The units are important to maintain security of electricity supply whilst ensuring the continuation of indigenous, dispatchable generation in Northern Ireland.

‘’The OCGTs at Kilroot will be the first new large-scale gas turbines delivered under the integrated all-Island electricity market arrangements and the first large scale gas generation plant delivered in Northern Ireland since 2005.”