CAMPAIGNERS headed to the offices of RWE npower this week to protest against Aberthaw power station.

A group of protestors from climate change campaign group Reclaim the Power went to the RWE npower headquarters in Swindon on Monday, January 23.

The group is calling for the closure of the power station, which is around seven miles from Barry and has been found to have repeatedly breached nitrogen oxide limits by the European Court of Justice.

Last year the Luxembourg court found that the coal-fired station, which opened in 1971, was releasing more than double the nitrogen oxide emission limit set by the EU during the years 2008 and 2011.

Following the ruling, the UK government was ordered to pay court costs.

Speaking at the time Aberthaw Power Station manager Richard Little said that Aberthaw Power station "has always been compliant" with environmental legislation and has spent more than £200m on technology in recent years in order to meet emission limits - something that was acknowledged by the European Commission.

The station, which employs around 600 people, announced last April that it plans to downgrade from 2017 to focus on only generating electricity during the winter and at times of high demand.

At the protest, Eleanor Baylis from Reclaim the Power, said: “It's simply unacceptable that Aberthaw power station is still operating.

"The European Court of Justice has ruled that the UK government has been breaking European Union air pollutions by allowing this power station to continue to operate in this way, but there is no concrete plan of action to make it comply with air quality standards."

She went to claim that "not only does Aberthaw poison people living in South Wales and many other places including Swindon and Bristol" but it is also "fuelling catastrophic climate change and forcing people living near opencast coal mines to endure severe disruption to their daily lives”.

Pete McPhearson, also at the protest, said: “We have brought our campaign to the decision makers at RWE npower.

"Aberthaw coal power station must close. Investment must go into sustainable energy generation and reducing energy demand, which could supply work for the highly skilled people currently working in the dying coal industry.”

A RWE npower spokeswoman said: "People have the right to peaceful protest.

"Aberthaw power station operates in a highly regulated environment and is compliant with all environmental permits controlling the site. The station continues to have an important role to play in security of supply."