- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
The operator of an under-threat Powys opencast mine has set aside money to restore the site, should it close, the Welsh Government understands.
Celtic Energy last week announced the Nant Helen site, near Ystradgynlais, could be mothballed, resulting in 90 redundancies.
Assembly Member Joyce Watson raised the issue in the Senedd on Tuesday (28 June). The Labour Mid and West Wales AM asked Leader of the House Jane Hutt for “clarity and reassurance”.
Mrs Watson said:
“Leader of the house, might we have a statement from the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure on the future of Nant Helen opencast mine near Ystradgynlais? Following the announcement that Aberthaw power station is to downgrade its operation from next April, Celtic Energy last week announced that Nant Helen could be mothballed, resulting in 90 redundancies.
“In October, the company took the decision to mothball the nearby Selar site, which resulted in 70 people losing their jobs. As you can appreciate, this is both an uncertain and unsettling time for workers and that community, who will want clarity and reassurance at this time.”
Jane Hutt AM answered:
“I’m glad that this has been brought to our attention this afternoon, because this is something where, you know, that uncertainty needs to be addressed. The company has begun consultations with trade unions and other stakeholders, which Joyce Watson will be aware of. That consultation could see a reduction in the workforce, but my understanding is that restoration finance has been accruing on the Nant Helen site, and the local planning authority and the company will be able to confirm the latest position, but I understand the restoration of the site should be capable of being managed.”