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800 jobs at risk at Eggborough Power Station
A NORTH Yorkshire power station is at risk of closing with the loss of 800 jobs after plans to convert it from burning coal to biomass were dealt a shattering blow by the Government.
The Tory MP also claimed in a letter to Energy Minister Ed Davey, which has been signed by ten other MPs including York Outer MP Julian Sturdy, that Britain would be left at a greater risk of power cuts.
Eggborough Power chief executive Neil O’Hara warned last night that closure could also push household energy bills even higher.
The power station, which creates four per cent of the UK’s power, has been planning to become one of Britain’s largest producers of green power by burning wood pellets instead of coal, but this would require public subsidies.
However, the Government now looks set to prioritise subsidies for wind power, leaving the biomass scheme in danger, with a final decision due to be made later this week.
Mr Adams said he was “furious” at the move, claiming: “It’s economic madness. This scheme is ‘shovel ready’ to start in January. The investment is in place. The planning permission is in place. Most of the wind schemes don’t even have planning permission.”
Mr O’Hara said: “This was going to be the largest engineering project in Britain in the first quarter of next year. We’re absolutely ready to go. Unless they change their minds, we will have to reassess everything.”
He said the plant could shut by the end of 2015 if taxpayers’ cash was not forthcoming.
An Eggborough spokeswoman said: “Our hope for this project is to drive huge investment and growth across this region. We are shovel ready to start early next year, subject to the Government decision.”
Mr Davey is reported to have said that the Government cannot fund all the projects that are coming forward, as that would potentially result in poor value for consumers.
A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesperson said last night: “Projects will be told this week what their provisional ranking is against all projects and within their technology group.
“We cannot comment on their score and affordability at the current time.”
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