RWE npower plans closure of seven UK fossil-fueled power plants


RWE npower announces plans for the closure of seven of its UK fossil-fueled power plants under the European Industrial Emissions Directive. (Pictured: Didcot power station)

RWE npower has announced its decision regarding the future of some of its natural gas and coal-fueled power plants under the European Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).

By the end of 2013, all power station operators whose plants are affected by the European Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) were required to inform the relevant Environmental Regulator as to whether their plant should be entered into the Limited Life Derogation (LLD). The IED, which comes into effect on 1st January 2016 for existing large combustion plants, further tightens the levels of SO2, NOx and particulate emissions that power stations may emit.

Power stations entered into the Limited Life Derogation may operate for a maximum of 17,500 hours from 1st January 2016 or until the end of 2023 before either closing or re-permitting to operate at new plant standards. The LLD provides a limited life option for plants for which further investment to abate emissions is not considered economic.

Defra has confirmed that plants entered into the LLD may be removed from it at any time until the end of 2015 at which point Government will formally communicate the list of plants taking the LLD option to the European Commission.
After a careful plant-by-plant review, RWE has decided to enter the following seven plants into the LLD. These decisions will be regularly reviewed until a final decision is made before the end of 2015:

• Aberthaw (Coal-Fueled)
• Didcot B module 5 (Natural Gas)
• Didcot B module 6 (Natural Gas)
• Cheshire CHP
• Conoco Phillips CHP
• Grimsby CHP
• Hythe CHP

Kevin Nix, Managing Director, Generation UK commented;
“These are very important decisions and we have thought long and hard about what is right for our business, our power stations, and our people. We welcome the flexibility provided by UK Government in allowing a final decision to be made by the end of 2015, ” Kevin Nix, Managing Director, Generation UK commented.

“Only once we have political clarity on how the energy market will operate under the Government’s new energy legislation, as well as under other political changes to be enacted, will we be able to make that final decision with confidence.”

“RWE has invested more than £5 billion into new power stations for Britain in the last 5 years. However power stations across Europe are finding market conditions increasingly difficult. Britain needs long-term cross party support for both the objectives and the delivery of this country’s energy policy to create the kind of market stability needed to make very large, long-term investment decisions.”

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