The Welsh government is to bring an action for judicial review in a bid to ensure continuity of supply to the energy park

Welsh Economy Minister Vaughan Gething has served a notice of judicial review on Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng over whether his department should intervene to keep a failed power station in South Wales.

Mr Gething said Baglan Operations went into compulsory liquidation in March 2021 and an official receiver had been appointed by the insolvency service.

The provision for a safe phased closure included the continued supply of electricity to businesses in Baglan’s energy park through a private cable network which makes it the only electricity provider there.

He said the Welsh Government was working with Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and Welsh Water to roll out new infrastructure for Baglan Power Station customers and expected it to be in place d end of May.

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The Welsh government, Welsh Water, council and local paper manufacturer Sofidel have taken legal action to try to stop the official receiver from cutting off electricity supplies before other arrangements are in place, but it was dismissed by the High Court in Attorney General for Wales & Ors v Allen & Ors [2022] EWHC 647 (Ch).

Judge Sir Alastair Norris, however, ordered the power supply to be maintained until April 18.

He said the Official Receiver was not required to supply power indefinitely from a company that had run out of funds to operate a power plant and that users should have made other arrangements once that the original power plant operator went into liquidation.

Mr Gething said April 18 “will clearly be a few weeks before the new power grid arrangements are delivered to all customers.

“My officials and I are reviewing the judgment and considering the position of the Welsh Government regarding a possible appeal.”

The High Court case was brought against official receiver Gareth Allen and his colleagues David Pike and Mike Pink.

Marc Smulian