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Oil Conversion Schemes

Volume 436: debated on Thursday 24 April 1947

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what coal savings have already been achieved by conversion from coal to oil; and what additional savings are envisaged.

The conversions that have been effected to mid-March represent an annual consumption of one million tons of oil, equivalent to about 1½ million tons of coal. The additional amount of oil actually used in the coal year 1946–47 will be about 700,000 tons, representing a saving of one million tons of coal. This is in accordance with the forecast I gave in October last. By the middle of /948 the annual rate of oil consumption represented by schemes of conversion already approved will have been increased to five million tons per annum, equivalent to an annual saving of coal of eight million tons per annum. The practicability and desirability of going further is under consideration. As regards practicability, we have to look at the availability of oil, and the possibility of finding the additional tankers and providing the additional handling facilities. As regards desirability, switching beyond a certain point from an indigenous fuel to one that has to be imported is obviously a matter for the most careful consideration.