Engie, one of the UK’s largest independent power producers, has announced the possible closure of its 1,000MW Rugeley Power Station in Staffordshire, owing to a dwindling market condition for UK coal-fired power generation.
Subject to the result of an employee consultation exercise, the closure is believed to result in 150 job cuts.
Claimed to be one of the most flexible and efficient coal-fired stations in the UK, Rugeley Power Station can provide enough electricity to power one million homes. It is jointly owned by Engie (75%) and Mitsui & Co. Ltd. (25%).
Meanwhile, GMB, the union for energy and engineering construction workers, has urged the UK Government to intervene and hold the closure of the Rugeley Power Station.
According to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the UK is expected to face an electricity supply gap of up to 55% by 2025 because of the closure of coal and nuclear plants.
A report by Dr Jenifer Baxter stated that combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT) alone are incapable of bridging the power gap since the country lacks the resources to build power plants.
Additionally, electricity imports will subject the country to the will of the exporting nations as well as the climate.
It had also stated that the enterprises lack incentives to invest in electricity infrastructure or innovation.
GMB national officer for engineering construction Phil Whitehurst said: "New nuclear has stalled and is at least ten years away.
"Wind power could not sustain the needs for London let alone the UK and is reliant on the weather.
"Lessons need to be learned from 4 November 2015 when National Grid had to invoke special measures to keep the lights on. This happened on what was not a very cold day and before nine power stations close in 2016."
However, a department of energy and climate change spokesman said: "New gas power stations are being built and we are investing in cleaner energy, such as nuclear and shale gas, to ensure hardworking families and businesses have secure, affordable energy supplies they can rely on now and in the future."
Image: An image of Rugeley Power Station. Photo: courtesy of Chris Bell.