July 23, 2013 / 3:13 PM / 4 years ago

RWE to close new UK biomass plant units on Wednesday

LONDON (Reuters) - Two units at RWE npower’s Tilbury biomass power plant in Britain will stop operating early on Wednesday, the utility said on Tuesday following its decision earlier this month to end investment in the converted station.

Units 9 and 10 at the 750-megawatt (MW) station, which was converted from coal to biomass only last year, will cease operations at 0600 BST on Wednesday, RWE npower said in a statement to the wholesale power market.

The plant’s third unit is currently offline for work unrelated to the shutdown and could resume output as soon as Tuesday evening, a spokeswoman said.

The unit is still scheduled to shut down fully over the coming weeks, she added.

RWE npower said on July 8 its investment decision was based on low electricity prices and a lack of funding from its German parent company.

The firm added that it was open to other investors taking over the station, which employs around 225 staff.

The Tilbury coal-fired plant was allocated a limited number of operating hours under EU-wide environmental laws. After the conversion, the hours, which expire on Wednesday, were transferred to the biomass plant.

The project was closed for several months last year after a fire broke out in the building where wood pellets are stored.

Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by David Evans

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