120 jobs at risk as one of UK’s last coal-fired power plants nears end of life

West Burton A power station

One of the UK’s last-remaining coal-fired power stations is set to close two years ahead of Government-imposed decommission deadline.

EDF Energy said its West Burton A plant, near Retford in Nottinghamshire, will close down from September next year, putting 170 jobs at risk. EDF said it hoped to redeploy some staff affected and that 50 workers would be kept on to help with the decommissioning process.

Earlier this month we revealed that the West Burton site could be put forward by Nottinghamshire County Council and its partners as part of the national search to find potential sites to design and build what is hoped to be the world’s first prototype fusion plant by 2040. Uniper’s coal-fired Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station site has also been suggested as a potential site for the plant.

West Burton A has been producing power since 1966 and is only staying open to meet current agreements to supply the grid. The Government’s current deadline to end all coal-powered energy generation is October 2025 but that could be brought forward by a year.

Matt Sykes, EDF’s managing director for generation, said: “With EDF’s power generation strategy firmly focused on nuclear and renewables – and in this key year for UK leadership on climate change – we now believe it is the right time to provide clarity to our employees and all those connected to the site.”

A joint union statement said: “Today’s announcement brings welcome certainty to the dedicated West Burton A workforce about the future of the station.

“With government policy to close all UK coal generation by 2024 we knew it had a limited future so we have been working alongside EDF to understand the implications for West Burton A and to prepare colleagues for the future.

“Knowing the date of closure allows people to make plans. Enabling a ‘Just Transition’ away from coal generation is very important for the unions.”

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