asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the present position in regard to the development of advanced technology in the use of coal: and if he will make a statement.
Advanced coal technology developments are taking place in the fields of fluidised bed combustion, gasification to yield substitute natural gas and fuel gas, and in the production of oil from coal. In fluidised bed combustion, the NCB and private industry are pressing forward with the development of industrial boilers and furnaces; my Department is supporting NCB participation in the IEA pressurised combustion project at Grimethorpe aimed at power generation applications. In gasification, British Gas is developing processes to manufacture substitute natural gas, and the NCB is working on fuel gas production for use in advanced power generating systems. Design and feasibility studies for the pilot plant development of two NCB oil-from-coal processes are being supported by Government.