Staff at Hunterston B power station have been marking 40 years of safe and reliable electricity generation.

Workers at the EDF Energy plant attended a celebration in the canteen on Friday 5 February where they were treated to birthday cake and an exhibition of photos of the station from construction to completion and other highlights from the station’s life.

Each member of staff was also gifted a copy of a commemorative book created to mark the event.

Station Director, Colin Weir said: “Hunterston B has employed thousands of local people over the past 40 years and we have seen millions of pounds invested in the local community.”

He continued: “Hunterston is a very special place. We have a wonderful geographical location and a world leading technological design, but more importantly a team of people who are totally committed to making the power station safe and successful and who are looking forward to more years of safe low carbon electricity production.”

In 2012 EDF Energy announced that it intended to extend the operating life of the station to 2023 following a £43 million investment.

The anniversary coincided with local MP Patricia Gibson’s first visit to the station. Ms Gibson took a tour of the station and met staff at the anniversary event.

The MP for North Ayrshire and Arran said: “It was a real honour to meet the staff at Hunterston B and the very committed management team. Safety is a top priority at the plant with highly trained staff, many of them having served at the plant for decades.”

The station first started generating electricity on 6 February 1976 and has supplied the National Grid with around 270 TWh of low carbon electricity – that is enough electricity to heat around 90 billion kettles.

In 2015, the station generated enough electricity to power 1.8 million homes and the carbon avoided was the equivalent to taking 2.8 million passenger cars off the road.

Pat McKinney from Ardrossan has worked at the site since it opened.

He said: “I’ve spent most of my working life at Hunterston B and over the years several members of my family have started working here too. My brother, both my sons and my daughter-in-law all work at the plant.

“Lots of people have relatives working here and there is a real community spirit. I’m really pleased to have been part of the celebration to mark this milestone in the station’s life.”