US power company AES has agreed to sell its two coal and gas power stations in Northern Ireland to the Czech utility Energeticky a Prumyslovy Holding (EPH) for an undisclosed sum.

The sale is part of a strategic pivot away from conventional generation in the UK and towards renewables, energy storage and liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as other markets such as the Americas.

EPH will purchase the 708MW Ballylumford gas plant and AES’s 99 per cent stake in the Kilroot coal and oil plant. A 10MW lithium-ion battery storage facility at Kilroot is also included in the deal.

“In line with our business strategy, we continue to reduce the number of countries in which we operate and focus our growth efforts in fewer markets, and especially in renewables, energy storage and LNG,” said AES president and chief executive Andrés Gluski.

EPH has bought a number of conventional power stations in the UK in recent years, including the Eggborough and Lynemouth coal plants and the Langage and South Humber gas plants.

Eggborough was closed in September 2018 after failing to secure a capacity market contract for the following winter. The previous owner, Eggborough Power, applied for planning permission to build three combined-cycle gas turbines on the site in 2017.

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