Central Electricity Generating Board (Coal)

Oral Answers to Questions — Technology – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1 December 1969.

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Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian 12:00, 1 December 1969

asked the Minister of Technology what is the total tonnage of coal being used by the Central Electricity Board; what is the cost per therm in the respective areas; and what is the projection of costs in 10 years time.

Photo of Mr Harold Lever Mr Harold Lever , Manchester Cheetham

68·9 million tons in 1968–69 and about 70 million tons in 1969–70. I will, with permission, circulate cost figures in the OFFICIAL REPORT. It would not be practicable to give estimates of the costs of coal in ten years' time.

Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian

Would my right hon. Friend not agree that, in the interests of this nation, it is time that the denigration of coal and its miners ceased? Would he not agree that when people opposed to the mining industry compare its costs to those of other sources of energy, they are generally not very factual?

Photo of Mr Harold Lever Mr Harold Lever , Manchester Cheetham

It is not the only area in which people want to quote figures without adequate study in depth. I agree with my hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr John Eden Mr John Eden , Bournemouth West

What progress has been made in the negotiations for a contract between the C.E.G.B. and the National Coal Board for its total coal requirements?

Photo of Mr Harold Lever Mr Harold Lever , Manchester Cheetham

This is a matter for those two bodies to negotiate. I cannot make any statement on the state of their negotiations.

Following is the information:

Current Delivered Coal Costs as estimated by the c.e.g.b.
C.E.G.B. Regions(d./therm)
South East5·70 to 5·80
SouthWest5·60 to 5·70
Midlands4·45 to 4·50
North East4·45 to 4·50
NorthWest5·00 to 5·35
Average4·80 to 4·85