A major UK power station at the centre of a row over biomass conversion subsidies has been sold to a Czech energy company.
Prague-based EPH will run Eggborough Power Station, near Selby, if the deal is approved by the European Commission. The terms of the deals have not been disclosed.
EPH chairman Daniel Kretinsky said: “The acquisition of Eggborough power plant reflects our genuine interest in the UK market and our appreciation of the highly competent management, skilled employees, technology and location of the plant.”
The 2GW coal-fired power station comprises of four units which supply around 4% of the power in the UK, equivalent to powering 3 million homes. It employs some 300 full-time staff.
Union GMB expressed support for the deal as it will safeguard jobs at the company running the station, Eggborough Power Ltd, and its suppliers.
The company had applied for funding under the Final Investment Decision Enabling for Renewables scheme to convert the station from coal to biomass. But changes in the subsidy regime in 2013 led to the project no longer being eligible for Government support.
The GMB condemned the decision saying Eggborough Power had done all it could to meet the subsidies requirements, but had then been “slapped in the face by floundering Government’s energy policies”.
Kretinsky told Reuters that the biomass conversion would not be possible without subsidies. “Should the government support be in place, the conversion to biomass is clearly a compelling option,” he said.
He added that EPH plans to keep the existing units operational as long as it is “economically viable”.