E.ON UK announces oil-fired Grain-A power station to be mothballed and the site closed by 31 December 2012

E.ON UK has today announced that the 33 years old, oil-fired power station on the Isle of Grain in Kent, Grain-A, will be mothballed with closure of the plant by 31 December 2012.

The Grain-A power station, which has not generated power during the last two years, was originally due to be closed by the end of 2015 as it does not meet the stringent environmental requirements set by the European Union's Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD).

However, in recent years the back-up role it had previously provided to ensure supply and demand on the system stayed balanced in times of system stress has largely been taken over by gas-fired power stations.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Tony Cocker, Chief Executive of E.ON UK said: "Today's announcement concerning Grain-A is not just about closing a power station, it's also about saying thank you to the hundreds of people who worked there over the past 33 years to make sure that it could play its part in keeping the lights on. We will now do everything we can to support and assist the 16 colleagues directly affected by this decision.

"As this corner of Kent demonstrates, how we generate the electricity we all need is changing. Oil-fired Grain-A and our coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth are both set to close under LCPD rules but just next-door we have our brand-new super-efficient gas-fired combined heat and power station and, not far from the Kent coast, we're a key partner in the ongoing development of the world's largest offshore wind-farm, London Array. 

"The whole system is changing and needs to transform to one of greater efficiency, lower carbon intensity and cost-effective back-up capacity.  We're continuing to invest in almost every corner of the country, both in generation and in helping our customers to reduce energy waste. The Government's draft Energy Bill is a step in the right direction, but must be kept simple, must provide a system-wide solution and deliver quickly.  As an investor, we need a market framework which is efficient and straightforward and gives us the confidence to make investments that are right for our company, right for our customers and right for the UK."


Notes to editors:

  • E.ON is one of the UK's leading power and gas companies - generating electricity, retailing power and gas, developing gas storage and undertaking gas and oil exploration and production. It is part of the E.ON group, one of the world's largest investor-owned power and gas companies. E.ON employs around 12,000 people in the UK and more than 79,000 worldwide;
  • In the UK, E.ON supplies power and gas to around five million domestic, small and medium-sized enterprise and industrial customers - meaning the company has to buy approximately 122.7 billion kWh of power and gas each year to meet their needs. E.ON also offers innovative energy services and technologies tailored to meet its customers' needs, and is helping customers become energy fit by encouraging them to insulate their homes, moderate their energy usage and even generate their own power;
  • E.ON's Reset Review continues to identify and discuss changes with customers through its 28,000-strong YourSay panel, its independent Customer Council comprising business leader Allan Leighton and ex-MP and Select Committee chair Paddy Tipping, its 1,000-strong MySay employee panel and through discussions with consumer advocacy groups such as Which? and Consumer Focus. Changes made to date include: Helping customers control their bills: Fair prices, simple products, transparent profits, A fairer way of paying: Providing stability to help households budget, Improving customer service: Consistency, easier contact, the confidence to complain;
  • E.ON's generation portfolio includes world-class gas-, coal- and oil-fired power stations. E.ON is a market leader in combined heat and power (CHP), and is one of the UK's leading green generators with 20 wind farms and the UK's first wave power generator, with another 1,500MW of renewable capacity under development;
  • One of the many ways E.ON leads the energy industry is through its commitment to market liquidity and transparency as evidenced by its actions on the day-ahead UK power markets including the N2EX auction. E.ON was the first company to sign a gross-bidding agreement with N2EX and leads the market with a volume equivalent to some 60% of E.ON UK's generation activity being traded so far this year.

For more information contact:

Scott Somerville (02476 183 438)