Energy firm Centrica is selling two gas-fired power plants in the UK and also says it will close its Rough gas storage facility as it shifts its business towards customer-facing operations.
Centrica has announced a deal to sell its operational Langage and South Humber Bank combined cycle gas turbine power stations, with a combined capacity of 2.3 GW, to EP UK Investments (EPUK) for £318 million in cash.
In a statement Centric said that the deal was “consistent with Centrica’s strategy to shift investment towards its customer facing businesses and to seek opportunities in flexible peaking units, energy storage and distributed generation whilst reducing focus on large scale central power generation”.
EPH is Europe’s seventh largest power generator and owns the Eggborough and Lynemouth power stations in the UK.
Centrica’s Rough gas storage facility makes up 70 per cent of all UK gas storage and is able to hold nine days’ worth of UK gas demand. Centrica said that Rough’s wells and facilities are at the end of their design life and had “suffered a number of different failure modes” during a comprehensive testing programme. “Centrica cannot safely return the assets and facilities to injection and storage operations,” it said in a statement.
Ken Cronin, CEO of the oil and gas industry association UKOOG, said that it would be politically risky to increase gas imports, and that the uk should develop its onshore gas resources to help replace the Rough facilities. “The solution for the UK in the medium term cannot be to transport gas across oceans and continents,” said Cronin. “The UK needs to ensure that whatever gas replaces that from Rough comes from sources that can deliver the same high levels of environmental and regulatory standards.”