Power station scheme could be sold in weeks

Richard Budge at Hafield Colliery
Richard Budge at Hafield Colliery
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A DEAL to sell the company behind the planned clean coal power station in Stainforth could be done in the next few weeks, say administrators.

KPMG has named 2Co Energy as the preferred bidder for Powerfuel, which went into administration after failing to find the cash it needed to develop the power station and carry out improvement work at the sites in Stainforth.

Planning permission has already been granted for the power station, and the EU has approved a grant toward the cost.

The firm 2Co is headed by former BP executive Lewis Gillies and is one of 10 bids which were reported to have been made for the company.

KPMG partner Brian Green said he hoped to agree a sale in the next month.

He said: “This stage of the sale process allows 2Co to undertake further due diligence of Powerfuel Power.”

Hatfield Colliery, run by another arm of Powerfuel, may be sold to a separate company. It has reported that a major bank may buy the mine.

The EU announced it would provide a £169 million subsidy for the power station plan back in 2009. Further applications for Government funding have been made since the administrators moved in.

Under the power station plans, carbon emissions would be captured and buried underground.

A network of pipes is expected to carry the carbon dioxide produced from the power station out into depleted gas field sites below the sea bed of the North Sea.

The power station is expected to create hundreds of jobs if it comes off the drawing board and into operation.

Hatfield Colliery itself, which was re-opened by Mr Budge after a previous owner had closed it, currently employs around 380 people.

Labour leader Ed Miliband, whose Doncaster North constituency contains the colliery has been following progress since Powerfuels called in the administrators.

He said: “I’m in touch with both the administrator and the trade unions representing people at the Hatfield pit. I’m doing all I can to ensure Hatfield pit stays open and the workers keep their jobs.”