Kirkcaldy MSP Torrance hails blocking of coal gasification

David Torrance MSP has welcomed the decision
David Torrance MSP has welcomed the decision

David Torrance, MSP for Kirkcaldy, has welcomed a decision that underground coal gasification (UCG) has “no place in Scotland’s energy mix”.

The policy decision was announced by Scottish Government minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse MSP. It followed an independent examination of the industrial process into creating gas from coal by professor Campbell Gemmell of the University of Glasgow.

The minister said the UGC industry would need to “demonstrate and provide evidence that it can operate to the high environmental standards that the government and public should expect” for the policy to be reconsidered.

David Torrance was positive about the decision after speculation that UCG could have taken place in and around the Firth of Forth.

“This is fantastic news,” he said. “There has been a great deal of public unrest and concern about the implications of UGC on the environment, and I have held severe reservations towards this technology.

“It’s great that we’ve taken a cautious, responsible and evidence-based approach when considering the safety of this technology and its environmental implications. I’m delighted that we are now able to openly declare that UCG simply will not take place here in my constituency.

“It would be deeply irresponsible to launch new UGC programs without considering the safety implications or environmental impact.”