Labour seeks PowerGen inquiry

The Labour Party has called on the Public Accounts Committee to investigate the 1991 privatisation of PowerGen, alleging that the Government undervalued the company by up to £350m. Labour's accusation, which is based on environmental commitments made by PowerGen, coincides with the Government's launch today of the international sale of its remaining shares in National Power and PowerGen.

Martin O'Neill, shadow energy spokesman, said that the original value of PowerGen took into account the need for the company to fit sulphur- scrubbing equipment at two large coal-fired power stations at a cost of hundreds of millions of pounds. Subsequently, only one station, Ratcliffe in Nottinghamshire, was equipped.