FirstEnergy idles western Pennsylvania coal plant, citing prices

The plant, in Shippingport, Pennsylvania, has been idled since late February

SHIPPINGPORT, Pa. (AP) – FirstEnergy Corp. has idled a coal burning power plant in western Pennsylvania due to falling electricity prices and increasing competition spawned by cheap natural gas.

FirstEnergy spokeswoman Stephanie Walton says the 340 workers at the Bruce Mansfield Power Plant have continued working since the plant was idled late last month. They’re performing maintenance at the plant.

Herman Marshman Jr., a 32-year employee who heads the plant’s union, says there’s no shortage of maintenance work, “We’re just not making any electricity.”

He says the last time the plant completely shut down all three of its power units was in 1999, and that wasn’t for an extended period of time.

Walton says the plant has a history of shutting down individual power units at the plant in response to market forces.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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