UPDATE: 83 jobs to go with closure of Newport's Uskmouth power station
Updated 4:43pm Friday 9th May 2014 in News
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Business William Graham AM, said: “This is another disappointing blow for Newport and the surrounding region. “The coming weeks and months will be an extremely difficult time for all those employees affected – along with their families.
“I share SSE’s extreme disappointment at its unfulfilled hopes to sell the site and I urge Labour Government ministers to do all they can to support staff and liaise with the company.
“At a time when security of energy supply is high on the agenda, it is sad that to see the closure of this power station, and I sincerely hope this vital national energy source is soon back in operation.”
Labour Newport East AM John Griffiths, who is also minister for culture in the Welsh Government, said: “Obviously it’s very disappointing news that these jobs may be lost. I think many of us had hoped that a buyer could be found for the company.
"We need to make sure help is available for the employees, either in terms of the job centre or the benefits agency.”
Newport East MP Jessica Morden said it was: "Very hard news for those losing their jobs at Uskmouth, who have faced a very uncertain time recently. "I know SSE were in detailed negotiations with a purchaser and it is important SSE are clear why this option did not work out.”
Unite regional official John Toner said the decision was a “devastating blow to the people individuals concerned and the local economy.
“They are well paid semi-skilled and skilled jobs lost to the area which clearly will be detrimental to the skill base of south east Wales.”
And he said union representatives with meet with SSE on Monday to explore alternative employment opportunities for workers within the company.
NEWPORT'S Uskmouth coal-fired power station will close, with the loss of 83 jobs it was announced today.
Owners SSE said the news come despite their "intense efforts" to find a buyer for the plant.
Paul Smith, SSE’s Managing Director of Generation said: "Uskmouth’s future had been an area of uncertainty for SSE over the past twelve months and we reluctantly confirmed in November that remaining capacity would be released to the National Grid by 31 March 2014 and that Uskmouth would cease to generate on that date – this has now happened.
"SSE had hoped to sell the asset on to a third party by the end of the financial year with a view to that company continuing operation of the plant in a long term, sustainable way.
"Unfortunately this hasn’t been possible, principally because the only realistic prospective purchaser was not able to provide a robust business plan to reassure us the plant and employees would be supported.
He said they were "extremely disappointed" to close Uskmouth and added his "sincere appreciation" to the workforce for the contribution they have made over the past five years to the "safe and efficient running of the power station."
He added options for redeployment within SSE are being explored with workers and "enhanced voluntary severance terms of release" would also be available.
The power station was due to close in 2016 because of new electricity regulations.
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