Jobs saved as coal deal is signed

Jobs saved as coal deal is signed

Monday, August 28th 2006

The biggest order for coal mining equipment for decades has been signed by a company re-opening a colliery, safeguarding hundreds of jobs.

Powerfuel will spend £37 million on state-of-the-art machinery to be used at the Hatfield pit near Doncaster in South Yorkshire.

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 Chief Executive Richard Budge said: “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 for decades to come.

“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.”

David Johnson, chairman of Joy Mining Machinery, added: “It is a very significant event not just for Powerfuel and Joy, but for the UK, and indeed European coal industry. We are confident in the success of this project and hope it can be a pointer for the future.”

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 10 million tonnes of coal a year.

© Copyright Press Association Ltd 2006, All Rights Reserved.

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