The new managing director at Lynemouth Power is back on familiar ground.
Carl Hopper first worked at the plant for almost 10 years from 1997, initially as senior maintenance engineer before progressing to production shift manager.
He takes over the reins as the plant nears completion of a full conversion from coal to biomass power under the ownership of Czech energy company, EPH.
Carl left Lynemouth to join Siemens Energy Service, where he worked his way up from head of service and repair to become managing director.
He said: “The chance to return to Lynemouth was very attractive and not to be missed, presenting not only an exciting challenge but also the chance to return to my roots having worked here before.
“Lynemouth has been thoroughly transformed during my absence, no longer the power source for a single purpose as it was when part of Alcan, but a thriving business in its own right.”
He added: “It is very encouraging to see the levels of investment by our parent company EPH, not just in Lynemouth Power but at other sites as part of the organisation’s growing presence in the UK.”
Millions of pounds have been invested in Lynemouth’s biomass conversion. Once fully converted and operational, the biomass power station will run wood pellets, supplying the national grid with up to 390 MW of low-carbon electricity.
The complex and technologically advanced project supports the UK Government’s strategy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while boosting renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Carl sees the work as tremendously exciting for the future. He said: “The current biomass conversion project presents some fantastic opportunities for the local and wider community, for the North East as a whole and of course, for everyone involved with the power station.”