A new $4.6bn coal-fired power station planned for North Ayrshire, Scotland, has faced a setback following a formal complaint from French firm EDF Energy.

EDF, which runs the nuclear reactors in the same area, said that the development could block evacuation routes of staff, as well as deprive the nuclear site of electricity and vital cooling water in an emergency. EDF also claimed that discharges from the coal plant could compromise reactor cooling systems.

Ayrshire Power project director Muir Miller said: "We are in ongoing dialogue with EDF Energy and believe that all of the matters raised by them can be addressed at the appropriate time."

An EDF Energy spokesman confirmed that it had raised a number of concerns that would not be addressed until the technical design has been finalised.

The plant, being delivered by Ayrshire Power, is based on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

The Scottish Government said it plans to seek public comment on the development later this year, reports The Scotland Herald.

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In November 2011, the local council in North Ayrshire rejected the project, following 20,000 objections made by the public.