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17 July 2006 : Column 137W—continued

17 July 2006 : Column 138W

Remit of Manufacturing Forum

The Manufacturing Forum is jointly chaired by Government and Industry and was established following the review of the Government's Manufacturing Strategy in 2004. The Forum facilitates ongoing advice from key industry partners to ensure the effective implementation and evolution of the Government's Manufacturing Strategy.

Manufacturing Media Centre

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what financial or other contribution his Department and its agencies are making towards the establishment of a Manufacturing Media Centre (MMC); what estimate he has made of the potential total cost of the MMC in each of its first three years; and when he expects the centre to be fully operational. [84478]

Margaret Hodge: The Manufacturing Forum Secretariat, which includes officials from the DTI, is working with stakeholders to establish the Manufacturing Media Centre (MMC). The MMC will cost approximately £300,000 per annum and will be funded by contributions from the manufacturing community, mainly from industry. It is planned to launch the MMC by the end of 2006.

Minimum Wage

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people have received the minimum wage in West Lancashire in each year since it was introduced. [84891]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Data at the parliamentary constituency level are not available.

However, the DTI estimates that around 120,000 in the North West stood to benefit from the October 2005 uprating of the national minimum wage.

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the potential for a conflict of interest to arise from a
17 July 2006 : Column 139W
board member of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority also being a board member of the Environment Agency. [85507]

Malcolm Wicks: Matters such as the potential for conflicts of interest arising as a consequence of membership of the Boards of public bodies are taken fully into account during the recruitment process. The DTI press release of 13 October 2004 announcing the appointment of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s non executive Board members provided detail on their other appointments and interests. In addition, public bodies maintain records of Board members’ interests.

Nuclear Power

Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received from the Scottish Executive regarding the Energy Review with particular reference to the planning system for future nuclear power stations. [81661]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 3 July 2006]: The Government have worked closely with the Devolved Administrations throughout the Energy Review on all the areas of devolved responsibility, including planning.

The Government's report on the Review, “Our Energy Challenge”, was released on 11 July 2006. It is available on the DTI website at:

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 4 July 2006, Official Report, columns 910-11W, on nuclear power, what the total operating budget was for his Department’s Office for Civil Nuclear Security in each financial year since 2001-02. [85386]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 14 July 2006]: The information requested is as follows.

OCNS Operating costs











The answer of 4 July 2006, Official Report, columns 910-11W referred to the charges made to recover the costs of regulatory services from those who received them. The figures in the table are total operating costs. The difference between total operating costs and fees charged (as stated on 4 July) is the net funding provided by DTI to cover the cost of work that falls outside the scope of The Nuclear Industries Security (Fees) Regulations and which therefore cannot be charged to industry. Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) activity covered by net funding includes, for example, policy advice within government, work on proposed future legislation and international work.

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Nuclear Safety Directorate

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many warnings have been issued by the Nuclear Safety Directorate to nuclear plants owned or operated by British Energy in each of the last five years. [84222]

Malcolm Wicks: Warnings are not a feature of the regulatory regime enforced by HSE’s Nuclear Safety Directorate. However, should there be a need for enforcement action enforcement notices are issued accordingly.

I am informed that HSE has issued 11 improvement notices to British Energy during the last five years.

Oil Imports

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the Government’s latest estimate is of when the UK will become a net importer of oil. [84273]

Malcolm Wicks: In 2005 the UK became a net importer of crude oil (including Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) and feedstocks), on an annual volume basis, for the first time since 1992. However, net exports of refined oil products meant that the UK remained a net exporter of overall oil (crude, NGLs, feedstocks, and refined products). Details are given in tables 3.1 and 3.2 of the June 2006 version of UK Energy Trends available at

With the large Buzzard Field due on-stream in late 2006, the UK should return to being a net exporter of crude oil (including NGLs and feedstocks) by 2007 before becoming a net importer on a sustained annual basis by 2010.

Petrol Prices

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent assessment he has made of petrol prices. [83066]

Malcolm Wicks: Information on the typical UK monthly retail price of petrol is given in Table 4.1.1 of the DTI’s Quarterly Energy Prices publication (

The rise in petrol prices since the start of the year reflects increases in the price of crude oil on the global market. In response, the Government are continuing to promote international efforts to improve the functioning of the global oil market and to tackle market inefficiencies that contribute to high and volatile crude oil prices.

Peugeot Plant (Ryton)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the progress of the talks that started on 4 July on the Peugeot car manufacturing operation in Ryton. [84232]

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Margaret Hodge: The Government are aware that discussions are on-going between Peugeot Citroen and the trade unions regarding the company's announcement that its Ryton plant will close, but the conduct of those discussions is a matter between the company and the unions.

The Government have made clear to Peugeot Citroen the importance of engaging in meaningful consultation with the trade unions, consistent with their obligations under information and consultation legislation, including giving due consideration to the unions' alternative proposals for the future of Ryton.

Power Stations

Mr. Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps are being taken to maximise power station efficiency. [84741]

Malcolm Wicks: The Government have put in place a competitive market-based framework that incentivises generators to maximise their productivity. The conclusions of the 2006 Energy Review set out proposals for further improvements to the generation market so as better to achieve the 2003 Energy White Paper goals.

Mr. Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans there are to build more gas-fired power stations in the next five years. [84742]

Malcolm Wicks: Details of planned major new investments in electricity generation, including gas-fired power stations, can be found in table 2 of the annex to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State’s second report to Parliament on security of gas and electricity supply in Great Britain. The report was published on 11 July and can be found both in the Libraries of the House and on the Department’s website at

It is important to note that approval of the consents listed in the table does not guarantee that all, or indeed any, of these projects will actually be built.

Mr. Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research he has evaluated on the efficiency of power stations. [84743]

Malcolm Wicks: Table 5.10 of the latest “Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics” (http://www.dti. html) lists the average thermal efficiencies of large power stations by fuel type. The technical and economic efficiencies of power stations are a commercial matter for generators.

Renewable Energy

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of (a) energy and (b) electricity in (i) the UK and (ii) each region was supplied from renewable sources in the most recent year for which figures are available. [84125]

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Malcolm Wicks: In the United Kingdom in 2004 1.8 per cent. of inland consumption of primary fuels and equivalents for energy use and 3.6 per cent. of electricity generation was from renewable sources.

The amount of electricity generated from renewable sources in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and each region of England in 2004 was as follows:




East Midlands




North East


North West




South East


South West


West Midlands


Yorkshire and the Humber






Northern Ireland


Other sites(1)




Solar photovoltaics


UK total


(1) Other sites are sites that have not been attributed to a region so that data related to individual companies are not disclosed when the breakdown by technology is shown in the source table. Source: DTI Energy Trends, September 2005 Page 24.

Similar statistics for the generation from all sources are not available for the regions of England since this would disclose data for individual companies given to the Department in confidence so percentages for the English regions cannot be calculated. However, percentages for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England as a whole are as follows:






Northern Ireland




United Kingdom


Source: DTI Energy Trends December 2005, page 44.

Regional data covering all energy use are produced only for consumption and not for supply. This is because energy produced in one part of the UK may not be consumed in the same part of the UK given that we have national transmissions systems for gas and electricity, and coal and oil products are distributed from mines and refineries to all parts of the country.

Mr. Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many wind farms there are in England; and how many are planned to be built in the next five years. [84740]

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