Kingsnorth power station closure confirmed

 

Energy giant E.ON has announced the closure of a power station, leading to the loss of more than 100 jobs.

The firm said today that the Kingsnorth site in Kent will cease power generation next March after running out of its allocated operating hours under European Union environmental legislation.

Under the EU's Large Combustion Plant Directive, polluting power stations that were not adapted to meet emissions-reduction targets will have to close after generating for 20,000 hours from January 2008, or by the end of 2015, whichever comes first.

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."

Kingsnorth was one of two schemes shortlisted as part of the Government's competition to build the UK's first commercial carbon capture and storage (CCS) scheme, but E.ON announced in October 2010 that it would not proceed to the next stage.

Dr Cocker added: "As a group we believe CCS can become an important step in the transition to a low-carbon generation mix with the right regulatory, technological and economic support. We're promoting CCS research and development across Europe by partnering with universities and by testing carbon-capture equipment at several of our power stations across Europe. Lessons from our projects will be shared with the UK and the entire E.ON Group.

"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."

Phil Whitehurst, national officer of the GMB union, said: "The news of Kingsnorth Power station is closing nearly two years early, and before new capacity is developed, is absolutely devastating for the local community who depend on the station for employment.

"The engineering construction crews who maintain the station in the outage season will also be starved of the much needed work they rely on in the short repair and maintenance season."

Ben Stewart, of Greenpeace, who was one of six campaigners acquitted of criminal damage in 2008 after shutting down the coal plant, said: "This decision signals the drawing to an end of unabated highly polluting coal in Britain.

"E.ON spent many wasted years trying to push through their controversial plan for another old-fashioned polluting coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth.

"It was a bad plan that didn't serve Britain and pushed us behind in the global race for cutting-edge clean energy and the industries that can bring tens of thousands of skilled jobs across the country."

In 2008, six Greenpeace volunteers were acquitted of criminal damage after pleading not guilty and relying on the defence of "lawful excuse", claiming that they shut the power station to defend property of a greater value from the global impact of climate change.

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory