§ Mr. George Grant
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the state of progress on the development of the liquefaction project at Point of Ayr.
§ Mr. John Moore
In May 1981 the Government offered £5 million towards the cost of construction and commissioning of a dual-process coal liquefaction pilot plant. Subsequently the board elected to proceed with just the liquid solvent extraction (LSE) process.
A three-month proving-run, ending in December, on the board's small-scale integrated plant showed that acceptable catalyst life can be obtained, but certain aspects of the LSE process required further investigation. Further tests will be carried out this spring to assess the effect of some process changes and also to confirm the suitability of the process for use with other coals.
In addition to support from the Department of Energy and the European Community, the NCB is holding discussions with concerns in the private sector with a view towards their financial support and participation in the project.