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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 6 (October 2, 1933)

Oil from Coal

Oil from Coal.

By means of an investment of several millions sterling at Billingham-on-Tees, Imperial Chemical Industries will produce, oil-from-coal at a rate calculated to keep a good-sized coalmine busy. It is estimated that petrol will be produced at a cost of about 7d. a gallon. Imported petrol has been brought to the mouth of the Thames at a cost of as low as 3 ½d. a gallon (that it, cost without duty), so the British Government guarantees to maintain for a period of years a duty of at least 4d. a gallon net against the import. It is not certain that imported petrol will continue to be as cheap as 3 ½d., or that petrol-from-coal will continue to cost as much as 7d. Practical operation may reduce the 7d., and it may be that oil-from-coal will reach as low a cost basis as imported petrol. In that case, the new petrol will not live merely by the duty. It represents home industry (including revived coalmining) and home production of fuel vital to the Navy.