ScottishPower will close its Cockenzie Power Station by next year as the remaining operational hours permitted under European Law at the plant are expected to expire by the end of March 2013.

The coal-fired power station, commissioned in 1967, was opted out of the large combustion plant directive (LCPD) in January 2008 and was required to close by December 2015 or after it had operated for 20,000 hours.

The final operational hours will be strategically managed and the station is set to close on 31 March 2013.

ScottishPower announced in April 2011 that the output of the station would be halved to 550MW from April 2012 as part of its remit to manage the remaining hours.

The Scottish Government last year granted planning permission for a new gas plant at Cockenzie for which ScottishPower is considering options for the development of the site.