HC Deb 13 December 1999 vol 341 c88W
Mr. Breed

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what plans he has to approve further loans from the Intervention Board to companies for the purpose of converting existing incineration plants to take (a) meat and bone meal and (b) cattle carcases; [100828]

(2) what the total value was of the loan made by the Intervention Board to Fibrogen Ltd. to fund the conversion of an existing incineration plant to take meat and bone meal. [100832]

Ms Quin

The Intervention Board's contract with Fibrogen is to incinerate 255,000 tonnes of meat and bone meal (MBM) from the Over-Thirty-Month-Scheme over a three year period at a total cost of some £16 million. Under the terms of the contract, the Government have agreed to advance part of the gate fee payable for the incineration service. The amount involved is £5.7 million, with a contingency of a further £0.5 million, to meet the cost of converting the power station and to meet the Environment Agency's requirement. The cost to the taxpayer of the advance, estimated to be £4 a tonne over the contract quantity of MBM, was fully considered in awarding the contract to Fibrogen. Even taking into account the cost of the advance, Fibrogen's gate fee to burn MBM is significantly below that negotiated with other incineration companies.

The Intervention Board has now contracted, or there is available commercially, sufficient capacity to meet its future incineration requirements, and it is unlikely that there will be a need for other contracts with advance funding.