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Coal

Volume 173: debated on Tuesday 5 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the average difference in percentage ash content between the medium sulphur coals presently being burned in British power stations and the coals of low-sulphur content.

The ash content of coal, as sold, typically varies up to about 20 per cent. There is no particular association with sulphur content.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the estimated increase in the percentage of fine dust released to the atmosphere as a result of replacing existing coal used with low-sulphur coal by the percentage required to meet European Community standards.

The Government are committed to achieving the reductions in emissions specified in the EC large combustion plants directive. It is for the electricity industry to plan how it will achieve its share of these reductions.Dust emissions from power stations are subject to limits set by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution. The limits set for existing power stations will continue to apply irrespective of the type of coal used.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what assessment he has made of the environmental implications of the imports of low-sulphur coal, in respect of any consequential need for large storage dumps alongside power stations.

The Government are committed to achieving the reductions in emissions specified in the EC large combustion plants directive. It is for the electricity industry to plan how it will achieve its share of these reductions.Any request for extensions to power stations would be subject to the consent procedure set out in section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989.