Power station in Northern Ireland faces closure

One of Northern Ireland’s key power stations is facing closure, with a potential loss of around 270 jobs. The Kilroot power plant failed to win a contract in a recent […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

One of Northern Ireland’s key power stations is facing closure, with a potential loss of around 270 jobs.

The Kilroot power plant failed to win a contract in a recent capacity auction, raising prospects the site could shut down.

Owner AES UK & Ireland said the auction sent a “strong signal for AES to exit the market”.

It added neither Kilroot – a coal and oil-fuelled power station – or the Ballylumford generation unit can “cover fixed costs” without new generation contracts.

The coal plant could therefore close by May this year.

Ian Luney, President of AES UK & Ireland said: “With the likely absence of any significant and reliable new generation in the next four years and a North-South interconnector that isn’t expected to come online until 2021, we are concerned that the removal of capacity at Kilroot and Ballylumford could contribute to a significant risk to the security and stability of supply in Northern Ireland.

“We remain open to further engagement to continue to contribute to secure energy certainty for Northern Ireland in the near to medium term.”

Sammy Wilson, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP for East Antrim believes the closure of Kilroot will have “massive implications for NI consumers of electricity, future investment and economic growth”.