FRANKFURT - German utility Uniper on Tuesday said its Heyden 4 hard coal-fired power station will stop commercial production in this month after the country's energy regulator included it on the list of plants that may be shut in return for compensation to fight carbon pollution. The company envisages to have ceased marketing of output at the 875 megawatts (MW) plant in western German by Jan. 1, 2021, and close it permanently on July 1, 2021, unless transmission grid operators object and declare it as system relevant for network security. If this is the case, the plant - one of 11 that the energy regulator identified for closure after a tender to idle plants at the lowest possible compensation - will be moved into a standby scheme to operate during bottlenecks against a fee. "We want to make our contribution to phasing out coal-fired power generation as soon as possible," Chief Executive Andreas Schierenbeck said in a statement. Uniper in January presented a plan to close its hard coal plants, apart from Heyden, at Gelsenkirchen Scholven, Staudinger and Wilhelmshaven by the end of 2025 but its modern plant at Datteln 4 remains open. The statement said the company was developing transformation plans for the coal sites to preserve jobs and transition to gas turbine driven power plants with combined output of heat, steam and cooling for industry, and the nascent hydrogen economy that Germany is building up. "The Heyden site has the potential to remain an important industrial site, even after coal-fired power generation is completely phased out," said David Bryson, chief operating officer. REUTERS
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