HC Deb 23 May 1978 vol 950 cc492-3W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what tonnage of coal would now be required to produce the current annual gas requirements of the BGC, assuming contemporary conversion processes for the gassification of coal were used; and if he will give an estimate of the cost per therm.

Mr. Eadie

The current annual natural gas requirements are around 16,000 million therms. Assuming established conversion processes, it is estimated that between 90 million and 105 million tonnes of coal would be required to produce the equivalent amount of substitute natural gas. Current estimates of the cost of SNG by established conversion processes are in the range 25 to 40 pence per therm. However, the technology for the production of SNG from coal is being developed further, and it would be misleading to apply estimates based on current technology to the future situation.