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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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SALMOND RECEIVES THREE FOLD ASSURANCE FROM SCOTTISH AND SOUTHERN BOSS

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Banff & Buchan MP and First Minister Alex Salmond has received a three fold assurance on the future of Peterhead Power Station from Ian Marchant, the Chief Executive of Scottish and Southern Energy.

The Perth based power giant has been forced to consider the closure of one of the smaller gas generators at the station due to penal connection charges levied on electricity generation in the North East of Scotland, with the possible loss of between 50 and 70 jobs.

Mr Salmond said after a meeting at the company HQ in Perth:

"This was a very positive meeting and I have received three key assurances.

"Firstly that there will be no compulsory redundancies this year at Peterhead and that every possible route will be taken to prevent them in the future. Mr Marchant has given be his personal commitment that it is his expectation that any compulsory redundancies can be avoided.

"Secondly Mr Marchant has said that if the campaign to secure fair connection charges for Scotland from the National Grid, which I support strongly, succeeds in reducing the higher charges for the whole station even by a quarter then the number two generator will be kept in production until 2015.

"Thirdly Mr Marchant has agreed that, in the event of the connection charges are reduced, the company will also investigate the feasibility of fitting a carbon capture demonstrator at the Peterhead plant, an investment which would place the power station back at the cutting edge of new technology.

"All three assurances are welcome. The commitment on avoiding compulsory redundancies stops short of a full guarantee but it is a strong indication from the Chief Executive of the company. The willingness to look again at the closure plan of the older generator if the anti-Scottish bias in the connection charge regime is modified is important and will provide impetus to the campaign to secure a fair deal on charges.

“Finally, although the proposal for a carbon capture demonstrator is just the suggestion of a feasibility study at present, and it would be small in comparison to previous plans, it could still represent an important technological breakthrough and a key investment signal on the long term future of the Peterhead plant."

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