UK lawmakers say DECC policy jeopardizes Eggborough conversion

By Erin Voegele | December 18, 2013

Several members of the U.K. parliament have issued a letter to Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change Edward Davey, expressing concern over the future of the Eggborough Power Station. The coal-fired plant is planning a conversion to biomass, a move the members of parliament say is jeopardized due to a recent policy change made by the U.K. Department of Energy & Climate Change.

According to the letter, last minute changes to the project selection criteria included in the DECC’s Final Investment Decision Enabling Process may prevent the project from moving forward.

A statement released by Nigel Adams, member of parliament for Selby & Ainsty, explains that the DECC’s decision indicates that the Eggborough plant is unlikely to receive subsidies, which means the £750 million ($1.22 billion) conversion is unlikely to move forward. “I will be lobbying for common sense and to get the project back on track,” Adams said. “No stone will be left unturned by myself and the company in the pursuit of trying to make the Government see sense.”

Information published by Adams’s office quotes an Eggborough spokeswoman as saying the threat of closure is very serious. The facility was ready to put its conversion plan into action in January. If that process is unable to move forward, the plant will likely be unable to operate past 2015. The facility currently supplies 4 percent of the U.K.’s electricity and supports 800 onsite jobs.

“If the government seriously intends to rebalance the U.K. economy, attract inward investment, support and grow cornerstone industries such as engineering and construction and infrastructure, let alone avoiding significant jobs losses, projects such as this must be a real priority,” said the members of parliament in the letter. 

A fully copy of the letter is available here. The DECC’s Final Investment Decision Enabling for Renewables updates can be downloaded from the DECC website.