* Can generate around 4 pct of UK demand
(Updates with details)
By Susanna Twidale
LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Britain's Eggborough coal-fired
power plant will remain open until at least March 2018, its
owner said on Monday, after winning a government contract to
provide back-up power.
The 2 gigawatt plant is capable of generating more than 4
percent of Britain's electricity demand and employs around 200
The plant was originally expected to close in March 2017 but
could stay open until 2023 if more contracts are won.
"We will review the ongoing operational life of the station
on an annual basis following the outcome of future capacity
auctions and could continue operations under existing
legislation until 2023," Neil O'Hara, chief executive officer of
EP Invest, said via email.
EP Invest represents the British interests of privately held
Czech energy group EPH, which bought Eggborough in 2014.
Britain began capacity auctions in 2014, looking to head off
future power shortages as coal plants close and low power prices
dissuade investors from building new ones.
Power plant owners are paid to make available back-up
electricity at short notice.
The auction, held last week, cleared at 6.95 pounds per
kilowatt (kW) per year, for plants to provide back up power from
March 2017 to March 2018.
Britain plans to close all coal-fired power plants by 2025
as a part of efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but
Eggborough would be forced to close by 2023 under European
(Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by David Goodman/Ruth
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