SNP ministers have caused a political row by calling in an application to build a power station just before Nicola Sturgeon’s meeting with the company on her visit to China. Scottish ministers “called in” the application by Red Rock Power to build a plant on the site of the old Cockenzie power station, east of Edinburgh, before the local council had a chance to make a decision. This means ministers will decide whether the power station can go ahead, not East Lothian council. The company is a subsidiary of the State Development and Investment Corporation (SDIC), China’s largest government-owned investment fund. It wants to build a sub-station to connect wind turbines to the national grid as part of its Inch Cape project in the North Sea. The notification that the application was being called in was made by the Scottish government on Monday. The first minister met senior figures from SDIC in Beijing the following day, although her officials insisted that the application was not discussed. Labour called the Scottish government’s decision to take control of the process a disgrace while the Liberal Democrats said ministers risked giving the impression they were “kowtowing to Chinese special interests at the expense of local people in East Lothian”. The Scottish government insisted that the decision was taken because the matter was deemed to be “potentially of national importance”. A spokeswoman said: “There is absolutely no connection between the decision to call in the Inch Cape planning application and the first minister’s visit to China. “The first minister met with the State Development Investment Corporation during her visit to China and the issue was not discussed.” However, this is only the ninth time in the past decade that an application has been called in by ministers before a local authority has had the chance to consider it. The Scottish government also used its call-in powers in 2008 over Donald Trump’s Menie golf course in Aberdeenshire. The Cockenzie site is important to Red Rock Power because it needs a sub-station to connect wind turbines. East Lothian council bought the site from ScottishPower last month and intended to market it for commercial use as a key part of its local economic plan.
Times 13th April 2018 read more »
Scotsman 12th April 2018 read more »
The National 13th April 2018 read more »
Herald 13th April 2018 read more »
Former McLaren CEO and F1 team principle Martin Whitmarsh is to lead a full review of the supply chain for the UK’s burgeoning offshore wind industry as part of a plan to drive £2.6bn in annual exports from the sector by 2030, it was announced today. The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), a forum of experts from across government and industry, is launching the review as part of its 2030 vision to boost exports five-fold and secure a further £48bn of infrastructure investment in the domestic sector over the next decade.
Business Green 13th April 2018 read more »