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RWE npower to close UK coal plants

World Coal,

RWE npower has announced its decision to close seven coal-fired power plants by 2023 in compliance with EU pollution rules.

The company confirmed that it submitted plans in December 2013 to the EU detailing how it will comply with the European Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), which from 1st January 2016 will impose tighter emissions standards for SO2, NOx and particulate emissions from fossil fuel power stations.

Under the new rules, power stations will have to either retrofit new technology to existing plants to ensure they comply with the new pollution limits, or agree to a Limited Life Derogation (LLD). Those stations entered into the LLD may operate for a maximum of 17 500 hours from 1st January 2016 or until the end of 2023 before either closing or re-permitting to operate at new plant standards. The LLD provides a limited life option for plants for which further investment to abate emissions is not considered economic.

Coal plants to close
After a careful plant-by-plant review, RWE npower has decided to enter the following seven plants into the LLD:

  • Aberthaw
  • Didcot B module 5
  • Didcot B module 6
  • Cheshire CHP
  • Conoco Phillips CHP
  • Grimsby CHP
  • Hythe CHP

Kevin Nix, managing director for generation UK at RWE, commented: “These are very important decisions and we have thought long and hard about what is right for our business, our power stations, and our people. We welcome the flexibility provided by UK government in allowing a final decision to be made by the end of 2015.

“Only once we have political clarity on how the energy market will operate under the government’s new energy legislation, as well as under other political changes to be enacted, will we be able to make that final decision with confidence.

“RWE has invested more than £5 billion into new power stations for Britain in the last 5 years. However power stations across Europe are finding market conditions increasingly difficult. Britain needs long-term cross party support for both the objectives and the delivery of this country’s energy policy to create the kind of market stability needed to make very large, long-term investment decisions.”

Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward

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