British mines could be forced to buy equipment overseas unless the Government resolves within weeks uncertainty over use of coal in electricity generation, the industry’s trade association has warned.
Philip Deakin, director-general of the Association of British Mining Equipment Companies, said employers in the 8,000-employee industry would shed jobs and close operations if the Government’s energy review panel did not act urgently.
‘It’s got to happen now,’ he stressed. ‘We can’t afford for the panel to deliberate for two months.’
Two large suppliers have already announced lay-offs this month. Joy Mining is to shed 99 jobs at its Bestwood site near Nottingham, while Parsons Chain is to lose 40 at Worcester.
A quarter of the 38 manufacturers in Deakin’s association are foreign-owned.
He said that unless the government acts soon, international parent companies of UK suppliers would relocate operations to countries where the market for coal is expanding, including China, Russia, India and the US.
He said a decline in the power generation market for coal would mean a comprehensive domestic equipment industry would no longer be sustainable.