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Gas Undertakings

Volume 975: debated on Monday 10 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many gas undertakings in Northern Ireland have indicated to the Department of Commerce that they intend to close down; and what assistance the Department of Commerce intends to give them to help in this process;(2) how many Northern Ireland gas undertakings have made an estimate of the cost of closure; and if he will publish this information, which has been supplied to the Department of Commerce.

In my statement of 23 July I announced that the Government were prepared, in principle, to assist the orderly running down of those undertakings which could not continue unaided. Since then seven undertakings have advised the Department of Commerce of their intention to close but none of them has yet supplied detailed estimates of the costs involved. Discussions are proceeding with these undertakings on the preparation of detailed plans and precise costings for rundown.