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Dickson meets with trade unions over Kilroot issues

February 13, 2018 12:58 PM

Stewart Dickson profile pic 1Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has met with trade unions over the future for employees at Kilroot Power Station.

Mr Dickson was accompanied by party colleague Stephen Farry MLA and said the meeting, which followed the news the East Antrim plant faced closure in May after failing to secure contracts in a recent capacity auction, was one of a round of meetings he has planned to discuss the future of Kilroot, its employees and the future of the site.

"There are a wide range of issues to be resolved, including health and safety issues, relating to Kilroot Power Station post-close down which have yet to be answered. These include the future of a substantial amount of ash waste at the site and also the current oil storage facility.

"Over this past weekend, 51 per cent of Northern Ireland's electricity came from coal generation at Kilroot, while only 26 per cent came from wind generation. After Kilroot is closed, where are we going to get that same ratio of electricity from?

"There is a skilled workforce employed at Kilroot. Some will take the opportunity to retire, while some will move to Ballylumford. However, some people will have to find alternative employment and it's important we assist them in whatever way possible. I will be looking to the Employment Service to assist with skills audits and retraining.

"Alliance will now be meeting with the utility regulator and the system operator to explore the future prospects for both Kilroot and Ballylumford stations, as well as future employment prospects for both plants. We need answers and how they can guarantee security of supply, and that the lights won't go out."

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