SSE Announces Closure of Ferrybridge Power Station

Following a comprehensive review of its coal-fired power stations, SSE has today taken the difficult decision to close Ferrybridge Power Station by 31st March 2016.

Costs at the 48-year-old power station have been rising due its age and environmental legislation, and it is forecast to lose £100m over the next five years.  This financial situation, combined with the political consensus that coal has a limited role in the future, means keeping the station open is not sustainable.

Paul Smith, SSE Managing Director, Generation, said:  “This was a very difficult decision to take because of the impact on our Ferrybridge employees, their families and the community.

“It’s been known for many years that the UK would have to phase out coal as it moves towards a more sustainable energy mix.  We’ve sought to protect jobs and invest in the site to keep it running for as long as we possibly could but ultimately we’ve had to make this regrettable decision today.  

“Our team at Ferrybridge is highly skilled, dedicated, and with a strong track record of performance –and we’re keen to ensure, where possible, that staff are redeployed across other parts of the SSE group, for example the nearby Keadby power station; or across the wider business.

“We appreciate it is a concerning time for our employees and our priority is to support them over the coming weeks and months.”

SSE will work closely with its 172 Ferrybridge employees to redeploy them to other sites where possible, including at its nearby Keadby Gas Fired Power Station which will be returned to service; provide retraining where possible; offer voluntary release on enhanced terms; and  do everything it can to avoid compulsory redundancies.

SSE remains committed to the Ferrybridge site, and the local community. The £300m Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 (FM1) project is due to be fully commercially operational towards the end of 2015, and will provide 46 full-time jobs at the site, with more created in the supply chain. It supported over 500 jobs at the peak of construction, and involved around 30 local companies. The Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 project currently being developed at the site could create similar benefits if it is granted planning consent (a planning decision is due before the end of 2015).  

This announcement does not impact on existing operations at SSE’s Fiddler’s Ferry coal-fired station, which currently has a Capacity Market contract for 2018/19, and will be entered into the 2015 Capacity Market auction.