Dickson to seek meeting with AES over job loss fears

East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson.
East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson.

East Antrim Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson is to seek urgent meetings with the owners of Kilroot and Ballylumford power stations after restructuring was announced at the locations.

It is understood the majority of jobs at the plants will be saved but up to 80 redundancies will take place.

Owners AES will keep Kilroot open for at least a year after a deal was agreed with system operator SONI.

However, several parts of the Ballylumford site will now close.

AES has stated they will “enter into consultation” with union representatives about job losses.

In a statement, Mr. Dickson said: “Foremost, my thoughts are with all those workers who will be affected by this process. My colleague Stephen Farry MLA and I have met several times with management of AES regarding the future of both sites, and we will be seeking to meet them again urgently so workers know precisely what is happening.

“Unfortunately, it appears this situation will result in job losses for people in East Antrim, despite Kilroot effectively being thrown a lifeline after initial talk of its closure. There also remains a wide range of questions to be answered regarding the future of the power supply for Northern Ireland.

“There is a skilled workforce employed across the two plants. While some will no doubt take the opportunity to retire, some may have to move and others will have to find alternative employment. I will also be pressing AES to assist workers in whatever way possible with skills audits and retraining.”