Uniper will close one of the four 500 MW units of the Ratcliffe hard coal-fired power plant as early as the end of September 2022 – two years ahead of the date announced by the UK government for the coal phase-out.
Uniper says it is taking the opportunity to accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired power generation in the UK electricity system wherever possible.
Power generation in the remaining three units of the 2 gigawatt power plant is scheduled to end completely by the end of September 2024 at the latest, after the power plant has fulfilled its obligations under the UK capacity market agreements.
Uniper CEO, Klaus Dieter Maubach, said: “We have the ambitious goal of making the entire Uniper power plant portfolio in Europe CO2-neutral by 2035. To achieve this, we must seize every opportunity that comes our way. In the case of Ratcliffe, we want to take one unit off the grid more quickly.
“This is within the framework announced by the government – but we do not want to exhaust this, but bring the date forward two years. We want to take advantage of such opportunities in order to achieve the decarbonisation targets we have set ourselves.”
Uniper COO, David Bryson, said: “We are proud of the contribution Ratcliffe has made and will continue to make to keep the lights on in the UK. We are also looking at options now to transform the site in advance of the power station closing to allow us the best opportunity to retain and reskill the workforce.
“Our ambitious goal is to start building an energy recovery facility on part of the power station site at the end of next year and to have this facility fully operational by 2025. This will be a first step towards realising our broader vision of generating electricity and heat in a sustainable way at this site, which will then be used by large industrial companies and institutions.”