HC Deb 13 April 1976 vol 909 cc484-5W
Mr. Woodall

asked the Secretary of State for Energy in what quantity and at what date the anticipated investment in the construction of coal gasification plants is to be undertaken.

Mr. Eadie

There are at present no plans to construct coal gasification plants for use in this country. The development work being carried out by British Gas at Westfield on behalf of American companies is earning dollars and also keeping British Gas abreast of the latest technology in case we ever need to augment our indigenous natural gas supplies in this way.

Mr. Alexander Wilson

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if the Government anticipate a need beyond 1980 for coal gasification plants or plants to produce synthetic natural gas from other sources.

Mr. Eadie

Our indigenous gas reserves are finite and at some time in the future they will run out, but this will be well beyond 1980. At that time, we may need to produce natural gas from coal or oil feedstocks. It is fortunate that British Gas is well advanced in both technologies.