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UK's Eggborough power plant to close

Published by
World Coal,

Britain's coal-fired Eggborough power plant is to close at the end of March 2016 due too an unstable financial position.

A fall in power prices and high carbon tax has contributed to high operational costs, which the company has indicated it cannot cover in the future.

Additionally, recent changes to the bidding rules for the government’s Supplemental Balancing Reserve (SBR) made it unviable for the company to recover some of its operational costs.

Eggbrorough Power is reported to indicate it would need additional funding of around £200 million over the next three years in order to sustain the running of the plant.

The 2000 MW coal-fired power plant has commenced discussions with staff on ending production, which could lead to redundancies. These talks, as well as discussions with government bodies, will determine the ultimate cessation date. Approximately 240 jobs could be lost at the plant. But the company has reported that a many roles may be needed to support decommissioning and future opportunities for the business beyond March 2016.

Neil O’Hara, CEO of Eggborough Power Ltd, said: “We are deeply saddened at the prospect of potentially ceasing generation at Eggborough power plant and believe that Eggborough Power could have a significant part to play in ensuring security of supply in the UK electricity market, particularly while there remains great uncertainty around new-build gas-fired generation. We intend to conduct a thorough consultation process with our employees and their representatives, while we continue to consider all options available to us, including seeking to engage with government bodies. Our priority is to support our staff during this difficult time.”

Commenting on the announced closure, a Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) spokesperson said: “This is obviously disappointing news for everyone connected with Eggborough, but people can be assured that energy security will be unaffected.

“The Government takes security of supply very seriously and has worked with National Grid to put in place an effective plan, which is flexible enough to adapt to individual plant closures. Our top priority is making sure UK families and businesses have secure, affordable energy supplies – we have ensured that National Grid have everything they need to manage the system.”

Edited from various sources by Harleigh Hobbs

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