HC Deb 21 March 1960 vol 620 cc15-6
27. Mr. Wainwright

asked the Minister of Power what is the estimated tonnage of coke per year which will be produced by the two new coke ovens and associated by-product plants which will be incorporated in the proposed steel works to be erected by Colvilles and Richard Thomas and Baldwin's under the Government's development scheme.

Mr. Wood

The capacity of the coke ovens to be erected by Richard Thomas and Baldwins at Llanwern will be 750,000 tons of coke a year; and that of the Colvilles' coke ovens associated with the Ravenscraig strip mill will be 560,000 tons.

Mr. Wainwright

Does not the Minister realise that at present there are approximately 5 million tons of hard coke in stock and that the National Coal Board is having great difficulty in selling it? Will he consider calling together, with his Department, officials of the N.C.B. and of the two steel companies to try to ascertain whether or not these two by-product plants are essential to our economy?

Mr. Wood

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the National Coal Board, the Gas Council and the appropriate area gas boards were very fully consulted about the needs of Richard Thomas and Baldwin's. There are some very good technical and economic reasons, including the long haul, for Colvilles not taking their coke from outside. I am certainly willing to write to the hon. Gentleman on that point if he wishes me to do so, but the consultations which he asks me to undertake have already been undertaken.

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