AN energy giant has vowed to consult the public over plans to replace a Hampshire power plant with a new £100m facility.

Fawley Power Station, which employs 83 people, is due to close by the end of 2015 because it fails to meet the latest environmental laws.

Now RWE npower, which owns the site, has revealed that it plans to build a smaller plant next to the existing building.

The oil-fired facility will only be used during periods of high demand or when another facility is out of action.

REW npower has pledged to seek the views of people living near the 175-acre site, which overlooks the entrance to Southampton Water.

A RWE npower spokesman said no decision had been taken on whether to demolish or modify the building, which has towered over the area for 40 years.

The new plant would employ fewer people and the company hoped to redeploy as many of the other staff as possible, she said.