HL Deb 29 October 1984 vol 456 c430WA
The Duke of Portland

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much would the Central Electricity Generating Board of Great Britain have saved over the last year had they purchased foreign coal whenever it was cheaper than that obtainable from the National Coal Board.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment (The Earl of Avon)

Because of the lack of available port facilities, the costs involved in transporting coal to inland power stations, and the impact upon the international coal markets resulting from increased CEGB purchases, the extent to which hypothetical savings could in practice be achieved by opting for imported coal is uncertain. The unpredictability of future international coal prices and exchange rates is taken into account in the current "Understanding" between the CEGB and the NCB which represents a sensible basis for obtaining a more competitive NCB price for power station coal and enables both boards to benefit.