The operational units at Fiddlers Ferry are capable of producing a combined capacity of 1,510MW and hold transmission entry capacity of 1,455MW

14June - SSE

Image: The operational units at Fiddlers Ferry have a combined capacity of 1,510MW. Photo: Courtesy of SSE.

SSE, a UK-based energy company has announced the closure of the remaining operational units at the Fiddler’s Ferry Coal-Fired Power Station located in Warrington, Cheshire, in North West England.

With a view to closing the station by 31 March 2020, SSE has started consultation with employees and trade unions.

SSE thermal energy managing director Stephen Wheeler said:  “The proposed closure of SSE’s coal-fired power station at Fiddler’s Ferry is a very difficult decision because of the impact on our employees and contractors at the station, their families and the local community.

“Financially, the station is making significant losses and our projections show that this will continue to be the case as the UK looks to phase out coal-fired generation by 2025 at latest. At nearly 50 years old, the station is unable to compete with more efficient and modern gas and renewable generation.”

Fiddler’s Ferry is the last remaining coal-fired power station with SSE

SSE said that Fiddler’s Ferry facility achieved limited success in the Government’s Capacity Market auctions and the current contract for the facility would end in September 2019.

In addition, the financial performance of the power plant has declined to unsustainable levels, incurring losses around £40m in last financial year and projections indicate further losses in future years.

Wheeler added: “We have a talented and dedicated team at Fiddler’s Ferry and our priority is to support employees and ensure they have a range of options available to them for the future.  SSE is proud of the social and economic contributions the station and our employees have made for the local area and wider society.”

Furthermore, the national and international policies focusing on promotion of lower-carbon forms of electricity generation in a bid to tackle climate change are increasingly challenging the economics of coal-fired stations, the company said.

The UK has committed to ending unabated coal-fired electricity generation by 2025, and the Government confirmed that it would pass legislation to achieve a net zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

With 158 employees at the site, SSE is expected to assess options to redeploy employees following collective consultation on the proposed closure.