Czech energy company EPH has confirmed that it will close its 565MW Kilroot coal-powered plant in Northern Ireland and open a gas-fired facility in its place.
The power station does not fall under the UK Government’s commitment to shut coal plants across Britain by 2024 but carbon pricing policies, rapid renewable growth and EU pollution limits mean the facility is no longer financially viable.
Kathrin Gutmann, Europe Beyond Coal Campaign Director, said: “Global demand for coal power is plunging rapidly and has been in decline in Europe for several years now. The end of coal burning at the Kilroot power plant is part of that broader story.
“While nobody would celebrate the reasons for the additional decline in energy demand and pollution that we are seeing currently, it does present us with an unprecedented opportunity to build a more resilient economy with a renewables-based power sector at its heart.”
The new facility has been granted a contract in the T-4 capacity auction for the Single Electricity Market of the island of Ireland.