Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as irving, KJ, Management of Change — The Transformation of UK Coal Project 105, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2005: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2005, 89-96.


In the UK during the 1990s the energy companies had developed a policy of ‘Dash for Gas’, building large natural gas power stations to produce more than 30 per cent of the UK’s electricity demand. The price of imported thermal coal was dropping and the electricity generators were putting pressure on the UK coal producers to produce coal at a reduced cost. Imported coal from Columbia, South Africa, America and Australasia had increased their market share in thermal coal sales to over 50 per cent of a 55 Mtpa market. The pressure on the UK coal industry to reduce costs and improve productivity levels from an ever decreasing resource was high. Companies were benchmarking their operations on the imported coal producers and had to realign their organisations, productivity levels and costs to world best practice, not just technically, but in world class organisational management techniques.