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Cross-Channel Electricity Cable

Volume 645: debated on Monday 24 July 1961

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asked the Minister of Power when the cross-Channel electricity cable will start to operate; what is the capacity; what economies will result in capital investment in the electricity supply industry and to the consumer; and whether he will make a statement.

The cross-Channel cable is expected to be working commercially before the end of the year; its capacity will be 160 mega Watts; the capital saving from its installaton will be about £3,400,000, but this economy will not significantly reduce the average price to the consumer.

Will not my hon. Friend agree that the reduction of capital costs in the electricity supply industry, which is the most voracious of all the nationalised industries in the matter of capital investment, should occupy his attention continuously, with a view to the expansion of these cross-Channel cable facilities, and will he consider them in the context also of a Channel tunnel?

I have no doubt that when experience has been gained in the working of this cable and the exchange of electricity between the two countries the matter will be further studied. The question of a Channel tunnel is not one for my right hon. Friend.