Longannet closure heralds end of "King Coal" in Scotland


Longannet closure ends more than a century of coal-fired generation in Scotland

A century of coal-fired electricity generation in Scotland will come to an end today (Thursday) when a staff member turns off the last 600 megawatt unit at Longannet power station in Fife at 12 noon.

Since it first started generating in 1968, Longannet has  produced more than 400 terawatt hours (TWH) of electricity – enough to power 2.3m homes every year for 46 years.

The station has used:

  • more than 177m tonnes of coal
  • 2.7m tonnes of heavy fuel oil
  • 0.5m tonnes of biomass and other fuels, and
  • 2.4m cubic metres of natural gas. 

It has run for a cumulative 918,315 operating hours, with unit two the highest at more than 235,000 hours.

Each of the four generating units has been in operation for more than 200,000 hours.

Prospect worked hard to support Scottish Power in its attempts to keep the power station open until 2020, but sadly a combination of factors led to the decision in 2015 to bring generation to an end in March 2016.

Since that decision was taken, Prospect has played a leading role in the Longannet Task Force, established by the Scottish Government, to mitigate the economic and social impacts of the stations closure.

Many Prospect members working at the station have spent their whole working lives at Longnannet, while others transferred there when Cockenzie Power Station was closed in 2013

"This is a sad day for our members at Longannet," said Prospect negotiator Richard Hardy.

"For some it will mean early retirement, for others new jobs in the electricity sector and beyond. But I know that they all feel an immense pride at the work they did at Longannet, keeping the station generating well beyond it's designed 25-year life."

The closure has already had a massive impact on the Scottish coal industry with local open cast mines at St Ninians near Kelty and Muir Dean at Crossgates ceasing operations.

All told, more than a thousand workers across Scotland are being impacted by the closure.