The closure of the E.ON gas-fired power station at Killingholme in north Lincolnshire in September is a ‘wake up’ call for the government to talk to industry leaders and trade unions about a joined-up energy strategy.
Unite, the country’s largest union, was commenting as E.ON announced today (Thursday 18 June) that the plant was no longer viable as it had failed to secure a Supplemental Balancing Reserve (SBR) contract which comes into play when there are huge spikes in electricity demand on the national grid.
A total of 57 jobs were due to be lost, but Unite regional co-ordinating officer Paresh Patel said that due to redeployment and natural wastage this had been reduced to 22 roles.
Paresh Patel said: “Unite is proactively engaged in talks with the E.ON management to find alternative employment with the company for the workers still at risk.
“We intend to mitigate the job losses, which is grim news for the local economy as these are skilled jobs that are being shed, as much as possible.
“Talking to industry executives, it is clear that the UK needs a joined-up energy policy to secure supplies for industry and the consumer in future – the closure of the E.ON plant is Killingholme is yet another wake-up call for ministers.”
The Centrica gas-fired station, which is next door to the E.ON plant, has received a reprieve until February/March next year as it did win a SBR contract for the forthcoming winter.
The E.ON announcement came on the same day as the government said that new subsidies for onshore wind farms will end from April 2016 which Unite warned was ‘misguided’.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2061 or 07768 693940.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.