Uniper accelerates coal phase-out in the UK. The energy company will close one of the four 500 MW units of the Ratcliffe hard coal-fired power plant as early as the end of September 2022 – two years ahead of the date announced by the UK government for the coal phase-out. Uniper is thus taking the opportunity to accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired power generation in the UK electricity system wherever possible. Power generation in the remaining three units of the 2-gigawatt power plant is scheduled to end completely by the end of September 2024 at the latest, after the power plant has fulfilled its obligations under the UK capacity market agreements.
“We have the ambitious goal of making the entire Uniper power plant portfolio in Europe CO2-neutral by 2035. To achieve this, we must seize every opportunity that comes our way. In the case of Ratcliffe, we want to take one unit off the grid more quickly. This is within the framework announced by the government – but we do not want to exhaust this but bring the date forward two years. We want to take advantage of such opportunities in order to achieve the decarbonisation targets we have set ourselves,” Uniper CEO Klaus Dieter Maubach, said.
“We are proud of the contribution Ratcliffe has made and will continue to make to keep the lights on in the UK. We are also looking at options now to transform the site in advance of the power station closing to allow us the best opportunity to retain and reskill the workforce. Our ambitious goal is to start building an energy recovery facility on part of the power station site at the end of next year and to have this facility fully operational by 2025. This will be a first step towards realising our broader vision of generating electricity and heat in a sustainable way at this site, which will then be used by large industrial companies and institutions,” Uniper COO David Bryson, added.
Ratcliffe Power Station has reliably supplied around 4% of all electricity for the UK over the last 50 years. During this time, it has made a significant contribution to the regional economy, created thousands of skilled jobs and generated electricity for around two million homes and businesses.
Facts about Ratcliffe
- Four coal-fired units with a capacity of 500 MW each and a total capacity of 2000 MW
- Ratcliffe is the only coal-fired power station in the UK equipped with selective catalytic reduction technology, which can reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 70-95%. It is also equipped with a flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) plant, which removes sulphur dioxide (SO2) from the flue gases before they are released into the atmosphere.
- At full capacity, Ratcliffe can generate electricity for around two million homes
Uniper is an international energy company with around 12,000 employees in more than 40 countries. The company plans to make its power generation CO2-neutral in Europe by 2035. With about 35 GW of installed generation capacity, Uniper is among the largest global power generators. Its main activities include power generation in Europe and Russia as well as global energy trading, including a diversified gas portfolio that makes Uniper one of Europe’s leading gas companies. In 2020, Uniper had a gas turnover of more than 220 bcm. Uniper is also a reliable partner for municipalities, public utilities, and industrial companies for developing and implementing innovative, CO2-reducing solutions on their way to decarbonizing their activities. As a pioneer in the field of hydrogen, Uniper is active worldwide along the entire value chain and is implementing projects to make hydrogen usable as a mainstay of energy supply.
The company is headquartered in Düsseldorf and currently the third-largest listed German utility. Together with its main shareholder Fortum, Uniper is also the third-largest producer of CO2-free energy in Europe.