Plans to power Stoke-on-Trent with methane gas

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Plans to extract methane gas from coal beds to power homes and businesses in Stoke-on-Trent have been unveiled by the city council.

The authority said it wanted to provide power to the city from local sources because of "rocketing" energy prices.

It said it was part of a bigger plan to make the city "a prime location for modern industry".

The council said it was now looking for a private sector energy company to work with to extract the gas.

Plans will be discussed at a council meeting on 5 September.

Andy Platt, from the city council, said: "Thousands of manufacturing jobs in the city are dependent on businesses having a sustainable, affordable supply of energy.

"Innovative new technologies mean those coal beds could help power a new phase in the city's industrial evolution providing energy direct to local businesses."

The plan has already got the backing of a number of manufacturing companies, the council said.

Ann Moult, Chief Executive of Johnson Tiles, said it would help ceramics businesses.

"Energy costs are roughly a third of all costs for manufacturing tiles so anything that would give us a benefit on energy costs would give us a competitive edge against the rest of Europe."

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