The £1 billion ($1.9 billion) Kingsnorth station will be located in the southeastern county of Kent at an existing four-unit plant.

The statutory scoping statement covers plans to build two 800 MW supercritical units with flue-gas desulphurisation, selective catalytic reduction, and using direct cooling meaning it would have no cooling towers.

Dr Paul Golby, chief executive of E.O UK, said: “If approved, Kingsnorth units 5 and 6 would also be built to be carbon capture ready. However, this further development would be dependent upon the development of new technology and the creation of a suitable long-term framework to make its deployment viable.”

The four 485 MW coal-fired units would be decommissioned once the new units are operational and if feasible, the new station’s carbon capture and storage equipment would be built on the site of the old units once demolished.

E.On is also considering co-firing biomass with coal, although that would be dependent on the continuation of the current framework for biomass co-firing.

The new units would only start generating commercially once the existing units had ceased operation, which must be by the end of 2015 under the terms of the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive.