Cottam Power Station closes after more than 50 years

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Cottam Power Station was designed to operate for 30 years

One of the UK's last coal-fired power stations has been switched off.

Cottam in Nottinghamshire was opened in 1968 and at its height, produced 2,000 megawatts - enough to power more than 3.5 million homes.

Owner EDF Energy blamed "challenging market conditions" for the move, with all UK coal fire stations likely to shut by 2025.

It added many of the 300 workforce had moved either to nearby West Burton or other areas within the company.

EDF said West Burton Power Station had contracts in place to run for at least another two years.

The closure of Cottam leaves six major coal-fired stations working in the UK: West Burton, Ratcliffe, both in Nottinghamshire, Drax, in North Yorkshire, Fiddlers Ferry in Cheshire, Aberthaw - in the Vale of Glamorgan - and Kilroot in County Antrim.

Image source, EDF
Image caption,
Cottam's closure leaves just six major coal-fired stations in the UK

In 2015, the government said it wanted to close all such power stations, which emit large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), once cleaner gas-fire stations could replace them.

Cottam's plant manager Andy Powell said he was "sad but proud".

"This place has been a key part of the landscape for the past 50 years, supporting the economy, and actually has gone far beyond its original projected operational life," he said.

"And, as we have seen, in the final days of power production, the plant has been running better than ever."

Sue Ferns, senior deputy general secretary of trade union Prospect, said she was "grateful" that workers have been redeployed where possible.

"The closure of Cottam is a sad day but if we are to achieve our country's emissions goals then it is necessary," she said.

"If managed properly the transition to low carbon generation can be done with a minimum of negative impact on the workforce."

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