RWE has changed its operating regime at Aberthaw and from April next year will focus on providing capacity only when needed. It will also install technology to allow Aberthaw’s three 500MW units to expand the range of coal they can use, which means it will not be reliant on low-volatile Welsh coal.
A spokesperson for RWE said: “We are working to secure the future operations of Aberthaw Power Station. We must however recognise that the current market for energy generation remains extremely challenging and demand for coal generation over the coming years is expected to be low compared to recent times. Against this backdrop we have to make decisions to future-proof our operations.”
The change in coal will reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 30 per cent when burning higher volatile fuels. This will allow Aberthaw to comply with future emissions obligations, the company said.
“Aberthaw Power Station is proud to have generated secure energy for the UK/Wales for over 40 years. It will continue to have a role to play in the transition of the UK to a lower carbon energy system by providing guaranteed capacity at times of high demand and with lower emissions,” the spokesperson said.
Richard Little, Aberthaw manager, said: ”When market conditions are very difficult it is testament to the hard work and dedication of our people that we can adapt the station to ensure that it continues to play a key role into the future.”