PPF move would save 2,000 jobs at UK Coal

PPF in talks to take over mines and pension liabilities of UK Coal.

New Statesman
Miners at a coal field in England. Photograph: Getty Images.

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is currently in discussions to take over most of the mines and pension liabilities of the Britain’s biggest coal producer UK Coal, according to the Telegraph.

However UK Coal and the PPF have not confirmed the discussions officially.

The move will save 2,000 jobs at UK Coal.

UK Coal is expected to enter into administration in the near future. Pension liabilities of the coal firm are estimated to be £550m.

Due to cheaper imports from Colombia and the US, and rise in domestic costs, coal sector in the UK has been struggling in the recent times. UK Coal closed its largest mine Daw Mill in March due to a fire accident.

The government-run Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is expected to take over most of UK Coal's eight remaining mines, while current miners' pensions may be reduced by up to 25 per cent.

Confirming the discussions between the two sides, Chris Kitchen, head of the National Union of Mineworkers, told Reuters: “It is our understanding that the PPF will take a 90 per cent share of UK Coal, meaning it will have ownership of collieries and surface mines that are viable economically.”