ScottishPower has announced plans to decommission the 2,400MW Longannet coal fired power plant located in Fife, Scotland, on 31 March 2016.

The decision to close the power station after 46 years of its operations life comes as the company failed to secure approval from the National Grid for the grid balancing services contract.

The closure is also driven by high carbon taxes and high transmission charges, which made the thermal plant uneconomic in the region.

A taskforce is planned to be launched by the Scottish Government to support the workers, businesses and communities affected by the closure.

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: "Our initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment, has already offered immediate support for affected employees and will work closely with the company and workforce representatives to provide a tailored package of support."

ScottishPower retail and generation CEO Neil Clitheroe said: "Our main focus now is consulting with staff to ensure we find the best outcomes possible for all of the 236 impacted employees, many of whom have spent their entire career at the station."

The measures are also said to have affected ScottishPower’s proposed 1,000MW combined-cycle gas turbine plant at Cockenzie, East Lothian.

The company, however, plans to continue to invest around £8bn primarily in renewables and networks, over the next five years in the UK, including £1.3bn this year.