Bids expected for pit and power company

ADMINSTRATORS expect bids to be made this month for the troubled owners of Hatfield Colliery.

KPMG has been in talks with investors over the future of Powerfuel since it went into administration last year because of problems raising millions of pounds needed to plough into the business.

The firm, owned by former UK Coal boss Richard Budge and the Russian mining firm KRU, needed cash to progress its plans for the clean coal power station next to the colliery, and for work on the pit itself.

KPMG spokeswoman Alison Anderson said: "There has been a good deal of interest in the firm, and we are still talking to interested parties.

"We are expecting to take the progress towards a sale to the next stage and are expecting bids this month. We are optimistic of receiving bids this month."

The colliery, in Stainforth, employs 380 people and the planned power station is expected to create hundreds more. The firm secured a 180 million euro grant from the EU for the power station scheme but has failed to raise 635 million needed to build it, and 30 million to upgrade the mine.

Community leaders in Stainforth want the future of the site sorted out.

Ward Coun Norah Troops said: "It is important that they sort it out, so people know what is going to happen. It seems like we have not heard much about the power station for a while.

"I think the colliery is important to the community. I know when it was shut a few years ago it seem to put a black cloud over the village. When it reopened it put quite a bit more life in the village."

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