We reported in November that ATH (Resources), a coal mining company, had appealed against being included as a full participant in the Carbon Reduction Commitment energy saving scheme. The decision of the DECC adjudicator has now been published.
ATH operates the biggest conveyor in Europe and the electricity that this consumes brings the company up over the 6,000MWh threshold. They argued that electricity used for transport is specifically excluded from the scheme, so the case turned on whether the conveyor could be classed as transport. On the face of it this was not possible as the regulations define transport as vehicles which travel on the public road. The conveyor was surely a piece of plant and machinery, not a vehicle.
ATH’s advisors argued that the conveyor was an installation supporting a railway, as it delivered coal to a loading point for railway trucks. Therefore, as an installation supporting a railway it should be exempt. The adjudicator disagreed. He said that signalling systems, repair and recovery services and snow ploughs operated in support of railways, but unlike them the conveyor played no part in the support, guidance or operation of trains. It was therefore not part of the railway and the electricity powering it should be taken into account when calculating ATH’s consumption for CRC purposes.
The appeal was refused.