Russia Gas Supply: UK Power Station Delays Closure Of Coal-fired Generators

One of the UK’s largest power stations has delayed the closure of its coal-fired generators due to fears over the security of gas supplies from Russia.

Drax, near Selby, had planned to shut its two remaining coal plants in September but has agreed to keep them online this winter at the request of energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

Mr Kwarteng said the decision was a “sensible precaution”.

The plants will be available “if needed” until the end of March.

In a tweet, Mr Kwarteng said: “With Russia cutting off gas to parts of Europe, this is a sensible precaution back home.

“As Energy Secretary, I have a responsibility to ensure we have enough supply this winter.”

He said that the UK now had two coal plants available for the winter and “talks were ongoing with one more”.

Last month the head of the International Energy Agency warned Russia may stop supplying gas to Europe this winter and encouraged countries to work on back-up plans.

Commenting on the latest development, Drax said at the request of the government, it had “entered into an agreement with National Grid” to allow its coal-fired units “to remain available to provide a winter contingency service”.

It said the units “will not generate commercially for the duration of the agreement and only operate if and when instructed to do so by National Grid”.

Under the terms of the agreement, Drax will be paid a fee and compensated for costs.

The company said its profits were now likely to be “slightly above the top of the range of analyst expectations”.

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