Baglan Energy Park

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons on 11th January 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephen Kinnock Stephen Kinnock Shadow Minister (Defence)

What recent discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on ensuring that the power supply for Baglan energy park remains connected until a permanent connection to the national grid is secured.

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his question and for raising this issue. I know that this has been a challenging time for some tenants on the energy park. Given that these issues are largely devolved, officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and I are regularly in touch with the Welsh Government on this matter and this includes, as he is aware, an exchange of correspondence in the past few days, along with regular meetings between officials.

Photo of Stephen Kinnock Stephen Kinnock Shadow Minister (Defence)

The Minister knows that in just three days the official receiver is due to turn off the power on the Baglan energy park. The intransigence of the official receiver is putting huge pressure on local businesses and also creating massive environmental and public health risks. Section 400 of the Insolvency Act 1986 clearly gives the Business Secretary the power to direct the official receiver. Why will the Minister not step up, take urgent action and direct the official receiver so that the potentially catastrophic consequences for these businesses, houses and communities can be averted in just three days?

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury

As I have said, I completely appreciate that this is a challenging time for tenants on the energy park. We have, as a UK Government, sought to review all of the powers that are available to the Government, including section 400 of the Insolvency Act. It is our view that it is not advisable to use that process at this stage. We have, as the hon. Gentleman knows, written to the Welsh Government giving a number of indicators about how we can mitigate the challenges and I look forward to speaking with the Welsh Government further, including in my meeting with the Minister for the Economy tomorrow.