HC Deb 11 July 1969 vol 786 cc337-8W
Mr. Bottomley

asked the Minister of Power if he will now make a statement on the proposals by the British Steel Corporation to site an ore terminal on Teesside.

Mr. Mason

The British Steel Corporation is in process of announcing its ideas for developing an ore terminal at Red-car, Teesside, at a cost of £15 million. This would be intended to serve its developing Teesside complex, but there could also be a rail link with Scunthorpe. The terminal could berth 100,000-ton carriers from 1972 and could be developed to take such larger ships as the river approaches permit, thus enabling the corporation to benefit from lower delivered ore costs. The corporation's capital investment programme of which this proposal forms a part, and is still being considered by the Government, requires my approval. The approval of the Minister of Transport under the Harbours Act, 1964 will also be needed.

The B.S.C. has assured me that this proposal in no way lessens its interest in developing ore terminals in other areas in the United Kingdom and, in particular, that the possible development of an ore terminal on the Clyde is not affected by it. The corporation recognises that the deep water approaches to the Clyde make it especially suitable for large ore carriers. The British Steel Corporation is in discussion with the Clyde Port Authority on the latter's proposals for the establishment of an ore terminal at Hunterston, and hope that these discussions will be brought to a conclusion by the end of the year.