Govt intervenes to prop up CO2 supplies

The UK Government is to provide temporary financial support for CF Fertilisers’ operating costs whilst the CO2 market adapts to global gas prices. CF Fertilisers produces around 60% of the UK’s CO2, used primarily by the food sector.

The three-week arrangement will allow the company to restart operations and produce CO2 at its Billingham plant.

The Government has also held discussions with the main food producers, their trade bodies and the major supermarkets, who are working on a more "sustainable, market-based" solution by the end of the three-week period.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the agreement will ensure the many critical industries that rely on a stable supply of CO2 have the re-sources they require to avoid disruption.

“In our ongoing response to manage the impact of global gas price rises, we will continue to protect businesses and consumers,” he added.

The CBI’s chief policy director, Matthew Fell, said that while the intervention should provide some short-term reassurance for the food sector and others heavily reliant on CO2, retail energy suppliers are still urgently anticipating measures.

“Given significant price rises affecting both businesses and consumers, it’s essential vulnerable customers and key energy intensive companies, which underpin critical UK supply chains, are well supported throughout the winter,” he said. “Meanwhile, action must be taken to ensure the UK’s transition to low-carbon power. Longer-term, we need to review the regulatory framework that has failed to the deliver investment and resili-ence needed.”

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