Fergus Ewing pledges fight to save Longannet

Longannet power station in Fife. Picture: Johnston Press
Longannet power station in Fife. Picture: Johnston Press
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THE Scottish Government will fight to save the massive Longannet power station from “premature closure” and warned it may be needed to keep the lights on across the UK.

Energy minister Fergus Ewing insisted the Fife plant could still drive a revival in Scotland’s coal industry in the coming years in a statement to MSPs yesterday.

He called for the National Grid to overhaul a transmission-charging scheme which was a key factor in the decision taken this week to shut Longannet early next year.

The minister confirmed that he will meet representatives of trades unions tomorrow after talks with local council chiefs earlier in the week.

“We are determined to continue to explore any options that may avert the premature closure of Longannet,” Mr Ewing said in a parliamentary statement.

“We believe the decision taken by National Grid and endorsed by the outgoing UK government is flawed and fails to take account of serious flaws in the UK electricity supply system.”

The closure of the plant was announced by owner ScottishPower after it lost out on a key National Grid contract to Peterhead. It will see up to 1000 jobs lost.