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Sual Power Plant (Philippines)

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what level of financial support the ECGD has provided to UK companies involved in the construction and operation of the Sual power plant in the Philippines; what precedent there was for such support at that time; and whether and on what projects this level has been matched in the case of other instances of ECGD support. [31832]

Ms Hewitt: In 1995 ECGD provided financial support to the Sual power project worth £432 million. The guarantee was provided on a limited recourse, project finance basis.

Prior to Sual, ECGD had supported one limited recourse power project, although with a much smaller loan value. ECGD has also supported a number of power projects on a non-limited recourse finance basis.

Since 1995, ECGD provided support in excess of £300 million for eight other projects:

ProjectCountry
Guangdong power projectChina
Hawk aircraftIndonesia
Air Force equipment and servicesSaudi Arabia
LNG plantOman
Boilers for the Shandong power projectChina
Patrol vesselsBrunei Darussalam
Manjung power projectMalaysia
Defence equipmentSouth Africa

Power Generating Projects

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what applications have been received by the ECGD relating to power generating projects in the past 12 months. [31835]

Ms Hewitt: In 2001, ECGD received 32 applications related to power generation projects. For reasons of commercial confidentiality ECGD is unable to provide

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details of individual applications prior to any guarantee being issued. No guarantees or insurance have yet been issued in respect of any of the 32 applications.

Coal Plants (Thailand)

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry from which United Kingdom companies the ECGD has received applications for support of their activities in relation to the proposed coal plants (a) Bo Nok and (b) Ban Krut in Thailand. [32483]

Ms Hewitt: ECGD has not received formal applications in relation to either of these projects. However an initial inquiry has been received in relation to the Bo Nok project. The identity of the UK company involved is commercially confidential and, in line with ECGD's normal policy relating to discussions prior to issue of guarantees, cannot be disclosed.

Fossil Fuel Energy Sector

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the UK companies that have benefited from ECGD support in the fossil fuel energy sector and have been prosecuted for contravening environmental protection regulations. [32521]

Ms Hewitt: The projects that ECGD supports are by definition located overseas. Therefore ECGD cannot determine whether, and if so how many, such prosecutions have taken place.

Details of UK prosecutions for breaches of environmental legislation are published by the Environment Agency.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the five companies in the fossil fuel energy sector that have received the most in ECGD funding since 1997 and the amount received by each. [32229]

Ms Hewitt: ECGD does not provide direct funding, but rather issues guarantees and insurance against loss. Since 1997 the five companies in the fossil fuel energy sector that have received guarantees in respect of the largest amounts of business are:

£ million

CompanyValue
Alstom Power902
Mitsui Babcock347
Kier International49
Allen Power Engineering39
Wier Westgarth36

Post Offices

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) directly operated post offices, (b) other main post offices and (c) sub-post offices there were in (i) each English region, (ii) Wales, (iii) Northern Ireland and (iv) Scotland in each year since 1979; how many of each category of post office in each case were opened or closed since 1979; and how many have changed their status since 1979. [33779]

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Mr. Alexander: I am informed by Post Office Ltd. that historic data on numbers of directly operated post offices and sub post offices are only held on a UK basis and historical data on numbers of post office openings and closures and status change are not maintained separately.

I am also informed by Post Office Ltd. that data by country are not available before 1998. The numbers of post offices operating in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, in the last three financial years are as follows:
















I am informed by Post Office Ltd. that an on-going revision of data has affected individual country totals.

Civil Servants

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many new entrants to the civil service employed in her Department were aged 50 years and over in each of the last five years. [32887]

Ms Hewitt: The information requested for my Department and executive agencies, in each of the last five calendar years, is shown in the table.

Number
199733
199861
199966
200050
200181

Staff Appointments

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what procedures have been adopted for the appointment of business executives to a strategy role in her Department; and for which posts applicants are being recruited at present. [32556]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 1 February 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Milton Keynes, South-West (Dr. Starkey) on 1 February 2002, Official Report, column 619W.

Foreign Investment

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the level of foreign investment in the Greater London area has been in each of the last three years. [33557]

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Ms Hewitt: The figures in the table are based on information provided by companies at the time of the announcement of the decision to invest in the UK. They are based on the companies' best estimate, at that time, of the number of new jobs to be created.

There is no requirement to notify inward investment decisions and so the figures include only those projects where Invest UK and its regional partners were involved or which have come to their notice.

London regionNumber of projectsNumber of new jobs
1998–991054,125
1999–20001597,200
2000–012228,306
Total58619,631

Your Guide System

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with the Scottish Executive on the funding arrangements for implementing the Your Guide system; and if she will make a statement. [33066]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 5 February 2002]: Officials in my Department have met with officials in the Scottish Executive on a number of occasions to discuss the longer-term future of Your Guide. These discussions have included some initial consideration of funding. If the current pilot of Your Guide demonstrates that the concept meets the needs of citizens and can provide value for money for Government, funding proposals will be worked up in the light of the emerging form and content of a potential national service.

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the Your Guide system will be introduced throughout the United Kingdom at the same time. [33065]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 5 February 2002]: The pilot of Your Guide currently running in Leicestershire and Rutland is being thoroughly evaluated and this work should be completed in June. If the outcome of the evaluation and of additional work on the costs and benefits of a national Your Guide service indicate that a national service should go ahead, the intention is that this should be introduced throughout the United Kingdom. (Of course national roll-out of an ambitious programme of this kind would be a major undertaking and it is to be expected that the service would be phased in over a period of time.) However, roll-out of a Your Guide service in the devolved regions would be subject to discussion with the devolved Administrations.


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