asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the total cost of the Polish shipping order placed in 1976; how much of this money has now been received; and if he will make a statement.
The total cost to the taxpayer as currently estimated by British Shipbuilders is £72·5 million, of which £28 million was intervention fund assistance and £39 million losses incured during construction, with financing costs accounting for the remainder. The ships in question are owned by Anglo-Polish Shipping Venture, a company registered in Poland in which BS and the Polish Steamship Company (PZM), each have a 50 per cent stake. All the vessels are on long-term charter to PZM and the proceeds of the charter go towards repaying the credit made available for the deal. The arrangements for repayments are a commercial matter for BS, APSV and PZM.