European group buys Eggborough Power Station

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EGGBOROUGH Power Station has been bought by one of the biggest shippers of gas from Russia to the EU, in a move which could be the first of many cross-border takeovers.

Energetický a průmyslový holding (EPH) and Eggborough Power, which owns the North Yorkshire-based power station, have reached a sale agreement. The deal, which is for an undisclosed sum, must be approved by the European Commission. EPH is a central European energy group, which operates mainly in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany. It includes 40 companies involved in coal extraction, electricity and heat production from conventional and renewable sources. EPH is also the gas industry leader in Slovakia and the key shipper of natural gas from Russia to the European Union.

Last year, the Department of Energy and Climate Change confirmed that Eggborough would not be one of a clutch of clean energy schemes to receive public funding, which led to renewed warnings about its potential closure.

EPH said the acquisition of Eggborough “reflects our genuine interest in the UK market”.

Neil O’Hara, the chief executive of Eggborough Power, said: “We are pleased that EPH has made this investment and look forward to working closely with them.”

Daniel Kretinsky, chairman of EPH, said the acquisition reflected the company’s appreciation of the highly competent management, skilled employees, technology and location of the plant.

Eggborough Power Station began supplying the National Grid in 1967.

As a result of privatisation, Eggborough passed from the Central Electricity Generating Board to a newly created company, National Power, which was floated in March 1991.

Eggborough was bought by British Energy in March 2000. In January 2009 British Energy was bought by EDF Energy. As part of that deal, Eggborough divested from EDF and became an independent business in 2010.

Today, Eggborough produces four per cent of the UK’s electricity and employs around 300 staff.

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