A NEAR-30-YEAR connection with Torness Power Station has come to an end for a former station manager.

Robert Gunn has swapped the East Lothian coastline for Suffolk and a new role at Sizewell B Power Station.

Mr Gunn, who has been succeeded by Tam Al-Bishawi at the county power station, said: “I’m looking forward to a new challenge in a new part of the country but I will miss the team at Torness, who really are some of the top professionals in the industry.”

During his 29 years at Torness, to the south-east of Dunbar, the power station has generated enough low-carbon electricity to power about 70 million homes and the carbon avoided compared to gas generation is the same as taking 41.9 million cars off the road.

The father-of-three, who has been married to wife Kathleen for 28 years, has worked in a number of technical and leadership roles at Torness, including engineering, business improvement, maintenance, safety and plant performance.

He was plant manager before being appointed as station director at the beginning of 2018.

Mr Gunn, originally from Glasgow, lived in East Lothian since he started working at the power station, which employs more than 500 people and 180 full-time contractors.

He told the Courier: “Torness has been a fantastic place to work for almost 30 years and has gone from strength to strength as we have worked very hard to continuously improve how we operate.

“It is a beautifully engineered plant that has safely and reliably provided a quarter of Scotland’s electricity over that period, and of course in a low-carbon manner.

“The staff are what makes it special and I’ll miss them all very much as I move to an exciting new opportunity at Sizewell B in Suffolk.

“I will also miss East Lothian, though will ensure I’m back regularly to visit.”

The 52-year-old wished Mr Al-Bishawi, who has been with EDF Energy, which manages Torness, since 2004, the best of luck.

Originally joining as a graduate engineer, the 37-year-old father-of-two has spent his time with the company in various roles at Torness and Sizewell B.

Last year, he was promoted to plant manager at Torness and has delivered best ever operational and safety results.

Mr Al-Bishawi, who is also married, said: “It’s a real privilege to take on the role of station director at one of the UK’s best performing nuclear power stations.

“I want to ensure the site continues to safely generate enough low-carbon electricity for up to 2.1 million homes a year and I know I have a great team here who will support me in doing this.”

Alasdair Swan, treasurer of Dunbar Community Council, wished Mr Gunn well in his new role.

He said: “He has been an absolute pleasure to work with and a great supporter of Dunbar.

“It will be our loss and Sizewell’s gain.”