Leeds & West Yorkshire

Ferrybridge C Power station 'to close in 2016'

Ferrybridge C power station
Image caption Ferrybridge C power station will stop generating in March 2016

Staff at a major power station on the West and North Yorkshire border have been told the plant will stop generating and close in March 2016.

People working at the Ferrybridge C power station were called to a meeting with managers on Tuesday afternoon and told the news.

The BBC has seen a letter given to staff confirming the news.

About 180 people work at the plant, along with an unspecified number of contractors.

The power station's owner SSE is expected to make a formal announcement about the plant's future on Wednesday.

'Devastating news'

BBC News has been told Unit 4 at the plant, that suffered a serious fire in July 2014, would not reopen and Unit 3 would be closed down in March 2016, bringing power production to a close.

A new multifuel "waste to energy" plant being built alongside the existing Ferrybridge site is not affected by the closure, the BBC has been told.

SSE was not available for comment on Tuesday evening.

But Phil Whitehurst, national officer of the General, Municipal and Boilermakers' Union (GMB) said the closure would be "devastating news".

He said: "The power station has years of life left to supply electricity at a fraction of the price of other energy suppliers.

"As things stand the only thing consumers will get from some of these suppliers are higher bills.

"Unlike Ferrybridge, none of the components and little of the labour will be sourced from the UK."

On the SSE website the firm says: "Ferrybridge is the third coal-fired power station to be built on the site since 1924. The power station, often referred to as 'Ferrybridge C', first fed electricity into the national grid in February of 1966."

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