June 18 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, March 8, 2012
New jobs blow as coal burning plant which was focus of climate camp protest confirms closure
Power firm E.ON has confirmed it is to close Kingsnorth Power Station on Hoo next March - with the jobs of 123 staff left hanging in the balance.
The plant made nationwide headlines in 2008 when it became the focus of Climate Change protestors calling for an end to coal-powered stations.
But now the electricity firm says EU legislation has forced it to close the plant.
An E.ON spokesman confirmed: “Like many other power stations around the country, Kingsnorth’s closure is a result of the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive legislation which requires it to close after generating for 20,000 hours from January 1 2008 or at the end of 2015, whichever comes first.
“The 1,940MW coal-fired power station, originally commissioned in 1970, will have reached the end of its allocated running hours by March next year and will be taken off-line.”
While environmental campaigners will welcome the news, it will represent another blow to industry in Medway.
Dr Tony Cocker, chief executive of E.ON UK, said: “Kingsnorth has played a huge part in powering the country for many decades. I want to pay tribute to the thousands of men and women who have worked at the station over its lifetime, bringing light and warmth to the homes and businesses of the UK.
“We’ve been working hard with colleagues at the station to help, guide and support them through the process which will be ongoing until the station closes. In addition to our colleagues we will be communicating with the local community in the coming weeks about our closure plans.”
The company has also pulled out of plans to build two new coal burning power stations at the site that would have used carbon capture technology (CCS) to lower emissions.
Kingsnorth was one of two schemes shortlisted as part of the Government’s competition to build the UK’s first commercial carbon capture scheme (CCS). But bosses say in the current ecnoomic climate that is not commercially viable.
Dr Cocker added: “Our announcement does not rule out future power generation on the site, which remains an excellent location for a new plant given its proximity to demand in the south-east, but the original plans are no longer appropriate.”
Last year E.ON’s super efficient gas-fired combined heat and power plant on Grain began full operations and the company says it is also investing in a number of renewable projects including the London Array offshore wind farm in the Thames Estuary.
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