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Rugeley coal power plant to close by end of next month

Rugeley coal power plant in Staffordshire will close by the end of June this year because of worsening conditions for coal generation, operator Engie said on Friday.

General view of Rugeley Power Station and the sunset over Etching Hill, Staffordshire Credit: Edward Smith / EMPICS Entertainment

The 1 gigawatt plant in the West Midlands county of Staffordshire is jointly owned by French power and gas group Engie and Mitsui & Co and can provide enough electricity to power a million homes.

The company has ruled out compulsory redundancies before the end of June.

Engie is planning a staged reduction in the number of employees on site in line with its decommissioning plan.

– Statement from Engie

British power company SSE will keep open its Fiddler's Ferry coal-fired power station near Manchester until at least March 31, 2017, having previously said it was likely to close this year.

  1. National

Business Secretary grilled by MPs over steel crisis

The business secretary has said that he would not have travelled to Australia and missed crisis talks over the sale of British steel plants, "if he had known how it would be reported."

Appearing before the Business Select Committee today, Sajid Javid said he did not believe a decision to immediately close the plants would be taken when he went on the March 29 trade mission.

"Obviously it was very far from home," he said. "I turned around and came back as quickly as I could."

He faced calls to quit after taking his teenage daughter on the trip to Sydney, instead of attending a meeting in Mumbai about the South Wales plant.

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  1. Wales

Business Secretary to be questioned over steel crisis

The Business Secretary is to be questioned by MPs today over the crisis in the steel industry and the current efforts to save thousands of jobs.

Sajid Javid has already visited steel workers in Port Talbot. Credit: PA

Sajid Javid will appear before the Business Select Committee as the search continues to find a buyer for Tata Steel's UK assets.

Tata Chief Executive Bimlendra Jha, Gareth Stace of trade group UK Steel and Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of the Community union, will also appear before the Committee.

Other witnesses will include Marc Meyohas of Greybull Capital, which is buying Tata's plant at Scunthorpe.

Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of the Community union, will also appear before the Committee. Credit: PA

Prime Minister David Cameron visited the Tata Steel works in Port Talbot on Tuesday to assure workers, unions and bosses of the Government's commitment to support the future of steel-making at the under-threat plant. Mr Rickhuss said the Prime Minister had "looked proud steelworkers in the eye and promised to do all he could to protect their jobs", and said his union would "hold him at his word".

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Intelligent Energy proposing to cut 200 jobs

A technology company based in Loughborough is proposing to cut 200 jobs, according to reports.

Proactive Investors said Intelligent Energy is also planning the closure of some offices, with the majority of the job losses expected to take place in the UK.

It is reported that the hydrogen fuel cells group will now focus on its smaller applications for its technology such as drones and powering mobile phone towers.

  1. National

PM: Government 'doing everything it can' but 'no guarantees'

Prime Minister David Cameron has said the government is "doing everything it can" to try to secure the future of steel making in Port Talbot and elsewhere in the UK but has warned "there can be no guarantees of success".

Speaking following an emergency steel crisis meeting to discuss the future of the industry after Tata Steel said it was selling off its UK assets he said the focus was now on finding a buyer.

After the meeting Cameron also tweeted that workers and their families would remain a "priority" while trying to find a solution to the current steel industry crisis.

  1. National

Steel crisis: Parliament recall petition hits 100,000

The petition has more than 100,000 signatures Credit: UK Parliament

A petition, urging the Prime Minister to recall parliament to discuss the UK steel crisis has attracted more than 100,000 signatures.

The call to action was set up by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as the industry crisis escalated in the wake of Tata Steel's decision to sell off its UK assets.

The petition, which has only been live for one day, has now exceeded the number of signatures needed to be considered for a debate in parliament.

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