French energy giant EDF will power down a 2GW coal-fired generating plant after half a century of service, the company said today, putting 158 jobs at risk.
The Cottam power station in North Nottinghamshire will close its doors in September, after becoming economically unviable.
“Today’s decision reflects the challenging market conditions over the last few years and the context of the drive to decarbonise electricity generation,” the company said.
Plant manager Andy Powell said: “When the power station was built it was designed to operate for 30 years.
“It’s a credit to our people, the engineering and EDF Energy’s investment that it has operated for more than 50 years.
“There has been an aspiration to move away from coal for a long time now and we have prepared thoroughly for the closure.”
The news comes just weeks after Japanese firm Hitachi pulled out of the 2.9 GW Wylfa nuclear plant in Wales.
EDF said it will keep running the nearby 2GW West Burton plant for another two and a half years, but would not commit to its future after 2019.
Mike MacDonald from union Prospect, said: “We had been led to believe the power station would be wound down by 2025 which would have given plenty of time to mitigate the £60m which will be lost from the local economy as a result.
“That lead time is now gone and we need reassurances from the company and from the government that they will do all they can to minimise the impact of this closure.”
The union said EDF's decision puts a further 140 supporting jobs at risk. EDF said it is working with some staff to find them new roles within the organisation.