ABERTHAW, the last coal fired power station in Wales, is set to close in 2020.

RWE is proposing to close the 1.56-megawatt Aberthaw B Power Station in the Vale of Glamorgan on March 31.

The plant was due to stay open until 2021. In 2016, it was found to have produced illegal amounts of pollution.

It currently employs 170 staff.

CEO of RWE Generation, Roger Miesen said: “Market conditions made this decision necessary."

Director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, Haf Elgar welcomed the news.

“The writing’s on the wall for the coal industry – we cannot keep burning fossil fuels in a climate emergency and we must stop now.” she said. “It’s welcome news that Wales’ last coal fired power station is set to close.

"Combined with the Welsh Government’s announcement at the end of last year that there should be no new coal mining in Wales, so finally we will be able to say that coal is history.

“We must now re-energise our efforts to cut emissions to net zero, and secure solutions to climate change that support communities throughout Wales, creating green jobs, and a healthy sustainable future for us all without damaging our climate and wildlife.”

Vale AM Jane Hutt said: “I have supported the loyal and skilled workforce at Aberthaw over the past 20 years and want their loyalty recognised by RWE given the assurances we have had of a longer life for the plant.

“I am speaking to RWE management and the unions about the situation drawing on Welsh Government support for those losing their jobs.

“The Welsh Government will make available its normal package of support for individuals impacted by this news – through our Employability Programme, ReAct funding as well as facilitating Careers Wales and DWP advice.

“These are loyal, dedicated staff who, with their families, are part of the Vale of Glamorgan community I serve.”

Vale-based South Wales Central AM Andrew RT Davies added: “The closure of Aberthaw Power Station will mark the end of an era, with the site having been a power station for generations.

“Obviously, with the increasing reliance on renewables, this news was expected, and the site has been on notice for some time.

“But it is vital proper support and arrangements are now put in place for the staff working on the site, so that we can find them other roles.

“Also, many residents have contacted me over recent months expressing concerns over what may happen to the site when the plant closes.

“It is therefore crucial that proper safeguards are put in place for when decommissioning occurs.”