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Iconic Littlebrook power station in Dartford to shut earlier than planned

By Messenger Reporter

Littlebrook power station in Dartford will close earlier than planned next year with the potential loss of 70 jobs, it has been announced.

The oil-fired power station in Manor Way is the last to close in Kent after providing power for almost 40 years.

Staff are set to enter a consultation period and it is hoped some can be moved within the company.

Littlebrook power station in Dartford viewed, almost 10 years ago, across the River Thames from Essex. Picture: Matt Reading

The station has the capacity to meet the needs of more than one million homes and has been a staple part of the Dartford community for generations.

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson said: "Littlebrook power station is an iconic site in Dartford and part of our local heritage.

"I'll always remember when growing up in the town how it helped to defeat Arthur Scargill and the miners' strike by producing enormous amounts of electricity using oil rather than coal.

"I am pleased the power station will remain open for the production of energy through gas but this announcement is undoubtedly the end of an era."

Littlebrook power station's number one boiler

The station opted out of European legislation in 2008 that could have protected its closure, but now permits the station to close after 20,000 hours of producing electricity.

Littlebrook was scheduled to close in December 2015, but will now close nine months early, on March 31 due to financial strain.

The station cannot afford to remain open due to high operation costs and this is only expected to worsen over the summer months when families require less heating and gas.

The control room at Littlebrook power station

Roger Miesen, chief technical officer of RWE, which runs the station, said: "Today is a sad but not unexpected day.

"RWE has invested more than £6billion into new power stations to more than replace the generating capacity of these older stations due to close, but I'd like to pay a tribute to this station and the people who worked here helping to keep the lights on across Britain for so many years."

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