HC Deb 23 May 1960 vol 624 cc27-8
35. Mr. Lee

asked the Minister of Power whether the discussions between the Central Electricity Generating Board and the oil companies on the modification of contracts for oil supplies have yet been completed; and if he is in a position to make a statement.

The Minister of Power (Mr. Richard Wood)

Brunswick Wharf and Little-brook "B" power stations were to have been converted to oil burning this year. It has been agreed that they will go on burning coal for at least two more years. The possibility of extending the period of this agreement will be discussed before it ends.

Mr. Lee

We are grateful for the information which the right hon. Member has given us, but are we to take it that this is the result of a discussion of short-term contracts, and that there are many longer-term contracts which involve oil and compensation therefor? Can he say whether we can look forward to the announcement of an agreement upon them?

Mr. Wood

I would not like to go any further than what I have said. I am not wholly pessimistic, and it may be possible to go further than I have gone at the moment, but that is the present position, and it is an achievement with which I am extremely pleased.

Mr. Jeger

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been drawn to the statement made at the recent opening of the Ferrybridge power station in Yorkshire that coal-burning generating stations are far cheaper than oil-burning stations and that the Yorkshire stations are the cheapest in the country?

Mr. Wood

I am told that in the case to which I have drawn attention the cost of burning oil under contract and the cost of burning coal are similar.

Forward to