HC Deb 28 July 1983 vol 46 cc548-9W
Mr. Eadie

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what up-to-date progress has been made in the development of the coal liquefaction project at Point of Ayr; and what is now the expected date for its commencement.

Mr. Giles Shaw

Work on the 2.5 tonnes per day coal liquefaction plant project began in April this year, with the signing of an agreement between the Department of Energy and the National Coal Board, to share equally the cost of the estimated £1 million, one-year basic engineering design phase. The scope of this basic design is agreed and most of the work will be done by a process engineering contractor to be selected in late August.

A strong management team has been created by combining NCB expertise with industrial experience in process development.

NCB has applied for Community support under Regulation EEC 1971/83, covering financial support for pilot and demonstration projects relating to the liquefaction and gasification of solid fuels.

The NCB is also continuing discussions with potential industrial partners with a view to satisfying the Department's requirement for private sector involvement in the project.

If all goes well, the basic engineering phase will be completed in mid-1984, after which a decision will be taken on construction.

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