Nia Griffith MP for the Llanelli constituency today met Mr Algy Cluff from the company who have been awarded an Underground Coal Gasification licence for the Loughor estuary. Nia was accompanied at the meeting by local councillors. This was a preliminary meeting to make arrangements for a full Public Meeting in Burry Port later this year.
Nia Griffith MP commented “Many constituents have approached me because they have heard that exploration licences for the Loughor Estuary have been issued with a view to the development of Underground Coal Gasification, and they are worried about what this will involve and what the potential consequences could be. I am pleased that Algy Cluff has agreed to send representatives from his company to a Public Meeting that I am arranging jointly with members of Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council. This will give local residents an opportunity to hear firsthand what the UCG process is and what exactly is being proposed here. I have told Mr Cluff that I would like to have that meeting as soon as possible, but I understand his logic in wanting to know what the position of the Welsh Government is on this, and he is not meeting them until the 12th November so the public meeting will be after that”
During the meeting, Mr Algy Cluff described the enormous potential energy resources in coal seams off shore in the UK. He also explained some of the differences between coal gasification and fracking, emphasising that his company had no involvement with fracking.
Town Mayor, Cllr Moira Thomas said after the meeting “There has been a lot of interest in coal gasification and confusion with the fracking process. Pembrey and Burry Port Town Councillors have raised concerns because Burry Port has been suggested as a possible site for an on-shore facility.”
Town Councillor Graham Davies who has already written about this subject in his Llanelli Star column said “We intend to arrange a public meeting in Burry Port to allow the public to hear both sides of the argument – those who think that UCG can make a significant contribution to the economy of the area and those who object to the process for environmental reasons. People can then make up their minds in an informed way.”