German-owned utility RWE npower today announced that two of its UK power stations will close next year under the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive.

The 2000 MW coal fired Didcot A power station in Oxfordshire and the 1000 MW oil fired Fawley Power Station in Hampshire will both shut at the end of March.

Both power stations were opted out of the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive, which is aimed at cutting emissions across Europe. The stations therefore had to stop generation by the end of December 2015 at the latest or once an allocated number of operational hours were completed (20 000 hours for coal or 10 000 hours for oil.)

RWE chief executive Volker Beckers said: “Both of these stations were built more than 40 years ago and have been the unsung heroes of our economy ever since, helping to keep the lights on and Britain working 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Fawley and Didcot A Power Stations’ open cycle gas turbines will remain operational until further notice.