HC Deb 21 June 1972 vol 839 cc459-60
20. Mr. Douglas

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement regarding the capital cost involved in the construction of oil terminals for power stations on the Forth.

Mr. Younger

Facilities are being provided by the South of Scotland Electricity Board for the bulk delivery of flashing oil by sea to Cockenzie and Longannet power stations. The estimated capital cost is £260,000.

Mr. Douglas

That is a surprisingly large sum just to take on board flashing oil. Can the hon. Gentleman give us the assurance that the jetties or terminals will not be used for fuel oil in any possible conversion of the power stations?

Mr. Younger

That decision is a matter for the commercial judgment of the board concerned and it is done within its budget previously approved by my right hon. Friend. No station can be converted without permission being granted, and that is a matter which would be considered in due course if such a proposal were made.

Mr. Ewing

In particular reference to Longannet, is the Minister aware that there is a feeling, particularly among the BP tanker drivers at Grangemouth, that the Government and the SSEB are engaged in reprisals for what happened during the recent miners' strike, and that there is grave concern in the area about the seepage of oil from the shallow-draught tankers delivering the oil? The Minister should look at the problem before the Government are faced with a very serious situation.

Mr. Younger

This is a matter for the commercial judgment of the board and it has taken its decision within its normal budgets. The board has a responsibility to its consumers to ensure the provision of electricity at all times, and that is all it is doing.