Shale gas could bring in billions

The Firth of Forth
The Firth of Forth

A new report claims the Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) industry could generate as much as ££12.8 billion for the UK economy.

Commissioned by Cluff Natural Resource (CNR), which is pursuing a UCG project in the Firth of Forth, the report was carried out by leading independent economic consultancy Biggar Economics and estimates that some 45 per cent of that ££12.8 billion could be retained in Scotland.

The report also states the UCG industry has the potential to create up to 11,900 direct and indirect jobs as well as supporting thousands more in the chemicals industry, with nearly 5000 of these jobs in Scotland and over 1000 in the Firth of Forth area.

Algy Cluff, CNR chief executive and chairman, said: “The findings of this report highlight the huge potential of the development of a UCG industry in Scotland and the UK.

“UCG has a vital role to play in the diversification of the UK’s energy mix and security and this report demonstrates how the development of UCG would create significant benefits for both the Scottish and wider UK economy.”

Graeme Blackett, of Biggar Economics, added: “Scotland is a hydrocarbon and energy-rich country and this could be an important new industry on a UK-wide basis, supporting many thousands of sustainable jobs.

“Subject to the robust planning and regulatory processes that we rightly have, there are major advantages in being the first movers in this technology, and becoming a world leader.”

The report stated Cluff’s project at Kincardine could contribute around ££603 million to the UK economy, 71 per cent of which could be retained in Scotland, and had the potential of creating as many as 830 jobs.