Uskmouth power station stops as sale talks go on

South Wales Argus: (5004246) (5004246)

USKMOUTH power station has ceased generating electricity as discussions continue over the future of the plant and the jobs of those still working there.

The power plant in Nash, Newport, is owned by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), who yesterday said they were in “advanced discussions” with potential buyers.

SSE assumed control of acquired Uskmouth power station following an agreement with Welsh Power Group Limited to acquire Uskmouth Power Company Limited, the owner and operator of the 363 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station.

One of its three generators ceased operation in April 2013, causing the loss of 20 jobs. Following this change, Uskmouth had a generation capacity of 240MW through its two remaining units.

It is understood there is currently a workforce of around 85 people at the plant.

SSE The energy giant had previously announced given the ongoing financial challenges at Uskmouth, it would cease generating and release all 345MW of the Transmission Entrance Capacity for the Uskmouth site from March 31, 2014.

Paul Smith, SSE’s managing director in generation, said: “SSE is now in advanced discussions with potential purchasers for the Uskmouth coal-fired power station in Newport, with a view to securing a long-term future for the facility.

“Employees on site are being updated on the latest developments today [Monday] and we hope to release further information into the public domain once a definite position is established.”

One Uskmouth worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, said they hadn’t been told what might happen to their jobs.

He said: “We stopped generating (on Sunday).,” he said.

“There’s been a consortium trying to buy the station since December. All we’ve been told is the deal is going ahead.”

Uskmouth is the UK’s oldest and least efficient coal-fired power station.

Last week, SSE announced a price freeze until 2016.

As part of its annual cost savings, a voluntary early release programme was also announced, which anticipated a reduction of around 500 jobs across the SSE group.

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