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loss of power station 'will be hammer blow'.

Byline: MIKE LOCKLEY Staff Reporter mike.lockley@trinitymirror.com

THE loss of Rugeley Power Station will be a hammer blow for the community, a senior councillor has warned.

The Staffordshire complex faces possible closure under government proposals to phase out coal-fired stations, placing 170 jobs at risk.

Danny Davies, veteran councillor for the town, said the only slim hope is that the coal is replaced with biomass fuel. That, however, has been ruled out by French owners GDF Suez.

Coun Davies said: "Losing it will be a hammer blow for the local population. I can remember when there were 1,000 workers there.

"The reason the power station was there was Lea Hall Colliery was next door and fed it. When the colliery closed (in 1991) the coal had to be imported.

"You can understand why they're doing this, but so many jobs depend on the place and a lot of investment has been put into trying to get rid of the waste from the chimneys."

Danny clings to the hope the power station can be converted.

"Biomass or gas," he said.

"They experimented some years ago with biomass, but returned to coal.

"If it goes, it will be such a shame, but I hope the site can be used by industry, creating jobs for the populace."

The power station has towered over Rugeley for close to 55 years. The first structure, Rugeley A, was opened in 1961 and its "B" replacement commissioned in 1970.

The station, which uses three million tons of coal a year, provides enough electricity to power half-a-million homes. It faces closure as part of Whitehall plans to rid the UK of all fossil-fuel stations by 2025.

In 2012, French owners GDF Suez experimented with biomass, but ditched the scheme.

A spokesman said: "The statement from the UK Government today regarding coal-fired power stations is not unexpected. We continue to review the position of Rugeley Power Station in light of all new market developments."

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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Nov 22, 2015
Words:347
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