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Petrochemical Complexes

Volume 979: debated on Monday 25 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he is satisfied with the United Kingdom content of plant and equipment in those petrochemical complexes at present under planning consideration.

Orders for a substantial amount of plant and equipment have still to be placed. The client companies are aware of the importance that my right hon. Friend attaches to British companies being given a full and fair opportunity to bid for these contracts and of the advantages of United Kingdom supply. United Kingdom suppliers have represented to us their intention to compete vigorously for the work.

Will the hon. Gentleman tell the House what he means by "substantial" in the context of his reply? Will he press the company to do an exercise similar to that done by Shell on the Auk platform to show, after the event, exactly what is the United Kingdom content of the projects at Moss Morran and Brae-foot Bay?

No purchasing decision for the Esso chemical installation has yet been reached. Shell completed most of its purchasing some time ago. The few remaining orders will be placed shortly. It is likely that 90 per cent. of the total expenditure on that plant will be on United Kingdom goods and services. About three-quarters of the contracts for materials and equipment will be placed in this country. The hon. Gentleman's second question was interesting and constructive. I shall certainly examine his idea.

Does my hon. Friend agree that this is an important issue for industry in West Central Scotland? Will he assure us that the Scottish Office will be fully involved in further consultations?