Hargreaves to pick up Scottish Coal assets

KPMG, liquidators for open cast mining firm Scottish Coal, has named County Durham-based Hargreaves Services as the preferred bidder for some of the company's assets.

The BBC reports the sale would take at least a month to be finalized. Hargreaves also bought mines from of Scotland's second biggest open-cast mining firm, ATH Resources, when it was liquidated last year.

In April the Scottish Government announce it was setting up a new trust to revive the country's coal industry in the wake of the Scottish Coal collapse.

About 600 coal workers have already lost their jobs – the company operated six open-pit mines across the country.

First Minister Fergus Ewing told UPI the government will do everything possible to secure the continued operation of the business on a sustainable basis and that is one the main reasons it has created the new trust.

The nation’s coal industry provides 4,500 direct and indirect jobs and is worth $760 million per year.

Scotland has one of the most advanced clean energy programs, with the amount of renewable energy generated in the country reaching a historical record of more than 14,600 gigawatt hours in 2012.

The nation’s goal is to generate 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2015 and 100% by 2020.