PLANS for a new gas-fired electricity plant in Scotland have been revealed.

The German energy company RWE is seeking permission to build an electricity plant beside its already established biomass facility on the outskirts of Markinch.

It comes after the National Grid called on companies to enhance the stability of the UK’s electricity system and fill the gap in emergency provision left after the closure of Scotland’s last coal-fired power station in 2016.

The new plant would be used as a standby system to improve the resilience of the biomass plant and would therefore only operate for short periods of time.

However, it will have the capability to run for up to 1500 hours annually.

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Construction of the site is expected to take between a year and 18 months if the plans are approved by Fife Council.

Two gas engines would be built in a single powerhouse alongside a new gas connection.

In February, the council approved a new gas-fired plant in Inverkeithing, which is also set to provide power supply during periods of high demand or emergency.

The plans garnered opposition from climate activists as well as some councillors who deemed the development inappropriate due to its contribution to carbon emissions.

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However, planning officials for Fife Council said the plant would support the move to renewables by providing “security of supply” in high-demand periods.

The Markinch biomass plant run by RWE was previously used to power the Tullis Russell papermill, which was once the largest papermaking business in the UK.

But since the mill closed in 2015 the excess heat has been used to supply renewable heat to the Glenrothes Energy Network – a district heating system which supplies hundreds of homes and businesses in Glenrothes town centre.