Bids in for clean coal power station firm

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THE future of Hatfield Colliery and a planned clean coal power station looks brighter after it was revealed 10 firms are interested in taking over Powerfuels.

And the business is continuing to move forward with plans to submit an application for funding for the power station later this week.

Powerfuels, the Stainforth company which runs the colliery and is trying to develop the power station, went into administration last year after failing to attract enough investment to take the power station plan forward.

Administrators KPMG’s spokeswoman Alison Anderson said: “We’ve had 10 expressions of interest in the business. The 10 offers give the administrators a lot to think about. They will compare the offers and see what would be best for the business.

“They are going to be spending time carefully reviewing the expressions of interest and considering which is the best to take forward.”

Meanwhile, the firm has also now revealed that an application will be submitted on Wednesday for European carbon trading credits – effectively a European grant which would add to the cash available for taking the plans for the clean coal power station forward.

Ms Anderson said: “We’ve said before it is very much business as usual and an example of that is the deadline on Wednesday for businesses to apply to the Government for carbon trading credits. These relate to trading in carbon once the business becomes active.”

The plans for the power station were thrown into doubt in December when Powerfuel went into administration.

It had been awarded a £160 million European Union grant in December, but failed to attract the private funds needed. The company is also in need of cash for work which needs to be carried out on the colliery.

The company was jointly owned by former UK Coal boss Richard Budge and the Russian mining firm KRU.

The planned 900mw power station would see most of the carbon dioxide created from burning coal filtered out and piped into underground storage space below the North Sea.

It is expected to create hundreds of jobs if it becomes a reality.