Coal equipment deal boosts jobs
August 28, 2006 Filed Under: Mining Equipment, Mining Services
THE BIGGEST order for coal mining equipment for decades was signed by a company re-opening a Yorkshire colliery, safeguarding hundreds of jobs.
Powerfuel will spend £37m on state-of-the-art machinery to be used at the Hatfield pit near Doncaster.
Two sets of coal cutting and ancillary equipment will be bought from Joy Mining Machinery, to be manufactured at the firm’s factories at Worcester, Wigan and near Nottingham.
The machinery will be delivered over the next year, and when fully operational, the pit will produce around two million tonnes of coal a year.
Hatfield closed in 2004 but is undergoing a £100m investment programme to develop reserves. Powerfuel’s chief executive is Richard Budge ”“ the man who was boss of RGB Mining, later UK Coal, when it took over the 20 remaining pits which were privatised after the run-down of the UK mining industry.
Mr Budge, whose involvement in the industry once earned him the title “King Coal,” said today: “This is the biggest single order for mining equipment for many years and underlines our confidence in coal and the role it will play in meeting Britain’s energy needs.
“This is a further major milestone in the re-birth of Hatfield. The equipment is proven technology, manufactured in the UK by a company with the highest reputation on the world stage for quality and performance.”
Mr Budge has teamed up with the giant Russian coal producer Kuzbassrazrezugol in a near-£1bn venture to reopen Hatfield colliery and build a “clean coal” power station close to the mine.
The equipment order follows years of uncertainty in the UK coal industry and the closure of several pits, leaving just six deep mines currently in operation producing 10m tonnes of coal a year.
l GRAMPIAN Country Foods is reportedly planning to close its Leeds head office with an as yet unspecified number of job losses.
The Leeds site is expected to close next month as the company plans a move back to its Scottish roots. The news comes almost a year after the departure of former chief executive, David Salkeld, who also previously ran Leeds-based dairy business Arla.