UPDATE 1-GDF Suez to demolish UK Teesside gas-fired power plant

Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:35am EDT

Related Topics

* Teesside power plant to be demolished

* 30 staff offered employment elsewhere within GDF Suez

LONDON Oct 18 (Reuters) - GDF Suez said on Friday it had decided to demolish its 1,875-megawatt power plant at Teesside in Britain, reflecting trouble for gas-fired power plants across Europe due to competition from renewables and cheap coal.

The French utility group has already closed or mothballed 12 gigawatts (GW) of capacity and is reviewing the fate of another 2 GW.

"GDF Suez has taken the difficult decision to decommission and demolish Teesside Power Station," the company said in a statement.

"The decision was taken as a result of our view of the UK electricity market going forward as well as the inability of Teesside to compete with newer, more efficient technology."

The huge Teesside power plant, which started operating in 1993, had run at a fraction of its capacity since 2009 and GDF Suez decided to mothball it earlier this year.

With the decision to demolish the station, around 30 workers will be offered employment elsewhere within the company, GDF Suez said.

Power industry leaders estimate that around 51 GW of gas-fired power plants have been mothballed across Europe.

Germany's RWE and E.ON have taken around 10 GW of capacity out of service and further plants are under review.

Meanwhile, some opportunistic investors have started to snap up modern plants at low prices, hoping to steer the stations through tough times until they are able to return to profit.

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