HC Deb 11 June 1964 vol 696 cc604-5
12. Mr. Skeet

asked the Minister of Power, in view of the competitive advantage over solid fuels of oil supplied under long-term contracts, to what extent it is his policy, in considering proposals from the Central Electricity Generating Board, to authorise further oil-fired electric power stations south of the Trent.

Mr. Peyton

The comparative advantages of different fuels are partly dependent on the particular site. My right hon. Friend considers each application on its merits, taking these and other factors into account.

Mr. Skeet

Will my hon. Friend give the number of oil-fired power stations in the United Kingdom and their consumption in terms of coal equivalent? Is he aware that fuel oil is 5 per cent. cheaper than solid fuel, and on the capital side an oil-fired station is about 5 per cent. cheaper to build than a comparable solid-fuel station?

Mr. Peyton

There are 13 major stations in England and Wales which burn oil and the amount of oil burned in power stations in 1963–64 was 7.7 million tons coal equivalent out of a total of 70.6 million tons.

Mr. Fernyhough

Would not the Parliamentary Secretary agree that, in view of the troubled situation in the Middle East in particular, it would be the height of folly for Britain to depend too much on imported fuel rather than indigenous fuel resources?

Mr. Peyton

The present contribution of oil is about 11 per cent. I do not think anyone would suggest that that is excessive.