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Ferrybridge power plant to close

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World Coal,

British utility, SSE, is to close its Ferrybridge coal-fired power plant, the company confirmed in a press statement. The plant will be shut by 31 March 2016.

According to SSE, the plant is expected to lose over £100 million over the next five years and this, combined with the political consensus in the UK that coal has a limited role in the future, means the company no longer views the continuing running of the plant as sustainable.

“This was a very difficult decision to take because of the impact on our Ferrybridge employees, their families and the community,” said Paul Smith, SSE’s Managing Director. “Its been known for many years that the UK would have to phase out coal as it moves towards a more sustainable energy mix. We’ve sought to protect jobs and invest in the site to keep in running for as long as we possibly could but ultimately we’ve had to make this regrettable decision.”

“Last year the UK saw a drop in coal-fired power generation of over 25%, with power generated from coal falling to its lowest level in several years," said Peter Kiernan, Energy Analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit in response to the news. "Plant closures, lower electricity demand and a rising share of renewables are squeezing coal out of the system, in addition to more competitive natural gas prices. Furthermore, some coal plants in the UK, and across Europe, will close in the coming years as they opt out of the EU's Large Plant Combustion Directive. As a result, in the longer term, the role of coal-fired power in several countries in Europe will be diminished.”

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