HC Deb 16 June 1958 vol 589 cc665-6
27. Mr. A. Roberts

asked the Paymaster-General what research he is promoting in regard to the high pressure gasification of coal.

Sir I. Horobin

The first commercial scale high pressure coal gasifier is about to be built by the Scottish Gas Board at Westfield in Fife, and the North Western Gas Board is constructing a commercial plant at Partington in Lancashire which includes another type of high pressure gasifier intended to work initially on oil and later on coal. The Ministry hopes to complete within the next few months a new experimental high pressure gasifier which has been commissioned for research into other aspects of this problem, and parallel work on gasification is being carried on by the British Coal Utilisation Research Association on the Ministry's behalf.

Mr. Roberts

Is the Minister satisfied that sufficient is being done in this direction? Does he appreciate the tremendous scope for the gas industry if research can be speeded up?

Sir I. Horobin

I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman. It is to the obvious advantage of the British coal industry to have as much flexibility as possible. In the last few days I have seen one of these very interesting experiments. It is impossible to say which of them will prove the winner, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that a great deal is being done.