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Volume 972: debated on Monday 22 October 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what study he has made of the cost of closing down the entire gas undertaking in Northern Ireland; and what would be the approximate cost of so doing.

The cost estimates and detailed implications of possible closure are being continually reviewed in the light of the response of individual gas undertakings to the Government's Northern Ireland energy policy statement of 23 July 1979. Until my officials have had an opportunity to discuss with each undertaking its future plans—and six have not yet made known their intentions—it is not possible to estimate all the costs involved.