Closure of Aberthaw will leave just three UK coal-fired power plants

RWE has taken the decision to close its 1,560 MW Aberthaw B coal-fired power station in South Wales – the proposed date of closure is 31 March 2020 and consultation with affected staff and employee representatives will now begin.  

The closure is the latest of many, and will leave just three operational coal-fired power plants in the UK from next spring – Drax in North Yorkshire (which also fires biomass) and Ratcliffe and West Burton in Nottinghamshire.

It has been clear for some time that the market conditions for coal-fired power generation in the UK have been challenging, says RWE, which says it will transfer Aberthaw’s existing Capacity Market agreements for the years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 to third parties, and a small proportion to other units within RWE’s fleet. 

Aberthaw B Power Station played an important role in the UK’s power generation mix since it began operation in 1971; currently the station directly employs around 170 people.

The decision to close the station will contribute to the company’s goal to progressively reduce its carbon dioxide emissions. RWE says it has decreased its emissions from power generation by 60mn tonnes per year since 2012.

Tom Glover, Chief Commercial Officer of RWE Generation, said: ‘For nearly 50 years the plant has played an invaluable role in helping to secure the energy supplies across the UK electricity system and we are very proud of its flexibility and resilience. With our flexible gas and biomass power station portfolio, RWE will remain an important player in the UK energy market.’

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