asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he is planning to investigate the viability of the Manoil process for producing oil from refuse.
The Manoil process for the liquefaction of rubbish to oil was looked at by the energy technology support unit (ETSU) at Harwell in 1985. The indications at that time were that although there appeared to be great potential in the process, a number of technical and economic factors still needed to be overcome. In particular, the process appeared to provide less energy, at considerably higher cost, than direct combustion of refuse.In April this year my Department again considered the Manoil process and I personally discussed its prospects with our technical advisers at ETSU. As a result of this, I have decided that it would be useful to have an independent evaluation of the process carried out by a firm of consulting engineers. This assessment will be put in hand shortly and will provide an up-to-date appraisal of the technical and economic prospects and of the major problems that remain to be overcome.