Cottam power station closure is 'huge blow' as 300 jobs put at risk, says union

Cottam power station
Cottam power station

The closure of coal-fuelled Cottam power station will be a huge blow to workers and to the economies of Worksop and Retford, says union.

The decision to close the station near Retford, which has been running for the last 50 years, was announced today, February 7.

EDF Energy which operates the station will not be economically viable beyond the end of September 2019.

Prospect a trade union that represents over 142,000 working people across the UK has said the closure is "premature" said there was not enough time taken to soften the blow the closure will have.

The union also warned that 300 jobs could be at risk.

Mike MacDonald, Prospect negotiations officer, said: “The premature closure of Cottam power station will be a huge blow to workers and to the economies of Worksop and Retford. We had been led to believe the power station would be wound down by 2025 which would have given plenty of time to mitigate the £60m which will be lost from the local economy as a result. That lead time is now gone and we need reassurances from the company and from the government that they will do all they can to minimise the impact of this closure.

“Prospect has been working hard with employers, including EDF, to secure a just transition to low carbon generation ever since the government indicated that it would wind down coal fired generation by 2025. We continue to work closely with EDF and the other unions to mitigate the loss of work and we will take every steps to support our members and their families at this distressing time. Proper planning for a just transition could have avoided this and helped us to retain these skills in the UK economy.

“When the capacity market was suspended last year Prospect warned that it had the potential to put jobs at risk; the loss of 300 jobs at Cottam, both direct staff and contractors, proves the point. BEIS reassuring the sector that they will resolve the issue soon is little comfort to those losing their jobs, or to the wider supply chain.

“The government must not let its current paralysis in the face of Brexit stop it from setting out a clear strategy to deal with the country’s urgent need for new capacity. Energy is essential to the UK’s economy and the loss of generation without any plan for its replacement is not in the public interest."

Andy Powell, Cottam Plant Manager, said: "Today 158 people working at Cottam are in scope. During 2017 we supported 19 people to move into alternative roles within EDF Energy, and an additional 22 will be transferring into alternative roles over the coming months."

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