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UPDATE 1-UK's Eggborough power plant to stay open until March 2018

Mon, 6th Feb 2017 16:52


* Could stay open until 2023

* Plant employs around 200 people

* 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 people.

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 emission rules. (Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by David Goodman/Ruth Pitchford)



(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Click For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp




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