28 March, 2002 – International Power PLC said Thursday it would mothball half the generation capacity of its 500 MW CCGT Deeside power station in North Wales in the UK with effect from April 1.

The group blamed the mothballing of the 250 MW unit on uneconomic wholesale electricity prices in the England & Wales electricity market.

Peter Giller, chief executive officer of International Power, said “current wholesale prices in the UK are uneconomic for running both units at Deeside which is a modern, efficient and clean burning power station.

“We will reinstate the mothballed unit only when market conditions improve to support sound financial operation.”

International Power expects no jobs to be lost as a result of this mothballing.

Tumbling prices have put pressure on generators to axe loss-making plants in a market analysts say is carrying overcapacity of 20 to 30 per cent.

U.S.-owned TXU is mothballing several coal fired generation units and the Fifoots Point plant of U.S. group AES has been placed into receivership as plants across the country struggle to cover costs, let alone turn a profit.

Generators have shelved plans for new plants, raising fears Britain’s margin of reserve generating capacity could shrink in the next few years.

Some utilities have even said Britain could be heading for a California-style power crisis, a claim strongly denied by UK energy regulator Ofgem