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Eggborough Power Station station set to close
EGGBROUGH Power Station will have to close, with power supply stopping from 2015, its bosses have confirmed.
They said the first generator could cease production as early as next September, following the news yesterday that Eggborough has provisionally failed to secure Government funding for a biomass conversion project.
The announcement spells a shattering long-term blow for the 800 strong workforce at the North Yorkshire plant, which currently supplies four per cent of the UK’s power.
The plant, which will submit a formal Opt Out Notice from the Industrial Emissions Directive for one of its generators by the end of the year, has revealed that if it cannot find a solution with Government to secure a future in biomass then the plant does not have a future.
Eggborough chief executive Neil O’Hara said: “Unless a viable solution is found with Government, the most likely outcome now is that Eggborough will no longer be supplying electricity to the grid beyond 2015.
“Impending EU regulation and the escalating impact of the carbon price floor mean this is unfortunately the rational economic conclusion based on the information we have available at this time.”
For the past two years the plant, near Selby, had been working towards a conversion from burning coal to biomass.
The project was described as “shovel ready” with investment and key engineering and construction contracts in place, however was dependent upon public subsidies.
Yesterday the Government revealed Eggborough’s project was not on its provisional list for projects eligible for early support under the Final Investment Decision Enabling Process.
As a result of the news Mr O’Hara revealed the plant “is not in a position to move forward”, and a £17 million deal due to be signed yesterday for preliminary work on the conversion project has now been suspended pending further developments.
The Eggborough power chief also revealed that maintenance work due to be carried out next year on one of the generating units is no longer deemed economically viable, with that unit set to cease operation from September 2014, removing one per cent capacity from the UK electricity grid.
However Selby and Ainsty MP Nigel Adams said the fight to convert Eggborough to biomass is far from over.
He said: “I am very disappointed that Eggborough hasn’t made it through, and we will be working tirelessly to find a way round this problem. There is still every opportunity that we can get this project off the ground. This was only a provisional decision on funding, we will not get the final decision until March.
“I am still very hopeful that the Eggborough conversion project will go ahead.”
Meanwhile, neighbouring power station Drax was listed by the Government as the top ranking of the 16 qualifying projects in receipt of early support. The Government informed Drax that its plans to convert two coal units into biomass was “provisionally affordable”.
Dorothy Thompson, chief executive of Drax, said: “We are pleased with the news that the Government has provisionally ranked our two projects highest among qualifying projects.”
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