HC Deb 13 July 1978 vol 953 c698W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many coking plants have been closed in the past five years; and what are the locations of the plants and the owners of the ovens involved.

Mr. Eadie

Over the past five years, nine coking plants have been closed. The details are as follows:

Europe, why United Kingdom coal exports during the first four months of 1978 were only 656,000 tonnes, compared with the annual import requirements of the EEC of some 45,000,000 tonnes.

Mr. Benn

Third country imports into the European Community mainly come from Australia, the United States and South Africa, where opencast mining and favourable underground conditions yield cheap coal for shipment in large vessels at low rates of freight, or from Poland where export prices are at least as low. Although the National Coal Board is doing its best to increase its share of the export market and United Kingdom coal is the cheapest in the Community, it is necessary, when competing for export business, to match the price of these third country producers.

I assure the hon. Member that the Government will continue to strive within the Energy Council and elsewhere for the increased use of indigenous coal within the Community.

Back to