Jobs lost as Centrica shuts King's Lynn power plant

A 340 megawatt gas-fired electricity generating station in West Norfolk is to shut down with the loss of 28 jobs.

Plans for a 1,000 megawatt replacement for the existing power station at King's Lynn are also in doubt.

Owners Centrica said high gas prices have cut profits from low-efficiency plants like King's Lynn which will cease production on 1 April.

King's Lynn power station reached its current stage of development in 1997 and was acquired by Centrica in 2001.

This plant will be mothballed but Centrica is keeping open an option to build a 1000MW plant at King's Lynn for which it has planning consent.

"A final decision is dependent upon improved market conditions and clarification of the government's intentions in relation to market reform," a Centrica spokesman said.

Low-efficiency plant

Centrica, which owns British Gas, said it was investing in renewable power with a 382MW windfarm off the Norfolk coast in operation and a further 270MW unit under construction.

A spokesman said: "We employ 34 staff at Kings Lynn and once the initial activities to put the plant into preservation are completed this will fall to six.

"Of the 28 redundancies two have already been redeployed within the Centrica group."

Sarwjit Sambhi, director for power generation, said: "Our older, less efficient, power stations are facing very challenging economic conditions as a result of high gas input prices.

"As we do not expect the situation to improve in the medium term we have had to make the difficult decision to close King's Lynn power station."

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