Aberthaw B coal-fired power station in Wales has been given a proposed closing date of 31 March 2020, according to a statement published by German energy company RWE, which owns the plant.

RWE wrote in its statement that the decision has been taken because “It has been clear for some time that the market conditions for coal-fired power generation in the UK have been challenging.”

The company also noted that Aberthaw B has played a ‘critical part’ in the UK’s power generation mix since it began operating in 1971. It has worked in recent years to reduce CO2 emissions, which have fallen by 60 million tonnes a year since 2012. RWE is currently consulting with the plant’s 170 employees.

Aberthaw B was one of the seven remaining coal plants in the UK at the start of 2019, but this number has fallen to four with closure announcements from Aberthaw B, Cottam and Fiddlers Ferry.

Aberthaw B closing reaction

RWE Generation CEO Roger Meisen said: “This is a difficult time for everyone at Aberthaw Power Station. However, market conditions made this decision necessary. I would like to thank all of our staff, past and present, who have contributed to the success of the station for so many years. Over the coming months, we will complete the consultation process.”

Carbon Brief deputy editor Dr Simon Evans tweeted: “Another UK coal plant is closing. 1,500MW Aberthaw B in Wales to close 31 March 2020, citing “challenging” market conditions. Just FOUR plants remain in the UK: Drax, West Burton, Kilroot and Ratcliffe.”

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By GlobalData

A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson said: “This is an uncertain time for employees and their families and we remain in regular contact with the company.”

When approached for comment, Aberthaw B said it would not be making one at this time.