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British Gas firm Centrica to extend life of two nuclear power stations

British Gas parent firm Centrica has announced plans to extend the lives of two UK nuclear power stations.

It said on Tuesday that the Heysham 1 and Hartlepool nuclear power stations are now expected to close in March 2026, two years later than originally planned.

The group’s boss Chris O’Shea said the move is part of efforts to “bolster security of supply” amid wider uncertainty in the sector.

Hartlepool nuclear power station stock
Hartlepool nuclear power station (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Centrica added that the extensions are set increase its electricity generation volumes by six terawatt-hours between 2024 and 2026, or around 70% of its total nuclear volumes in 2022.

Mr O’Shea said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to work with EDF to strengthen the UK’s energy security by extending the life of these critical power stations.

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“This continues our action to bolster security of supply in our core markets which includes reopening the Rough gas storage facility in the UK, sanctioning new gas-fired electricity generation capacity in Ireland, and securing increased volumes of gas and renewable power for our customers.

“We will continue to focus on supporting energy security in our core markets during these uncertain times.”

The energy firm last month saw its profits more than treble to more than £3 billion for 2022 amid rocketing energy prices that have sparked a cost-of-living crisis.

Shares in the company edged 0.2% higher during early trading on Tuesday.