Major UK CO2 supplier subsidised by taxpayer hikes gas prices

11 October 2021, 15:02 | Updated: 11 October 2021, 19:56

The CF Industries plant in Billingham, Teeside
The CF Industries plant in Billingham, Teeside. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

The UK’s main carbon dioxide supplier is to increase its prices weeks after a government deal ensured it could restart production.

US-owned fertiliser firm CF industries last month shut down plants that make 60% of the country's CO2 as the cost of natural gas spiralled.

The Government agreed to subsidise the company to ensure the reopening of a plant in Billingham, Teeside, in a deal reportedly worth tens of millions of pounds.

It came as part of an effort to ensure availability of CO2 for industries including the food sector ahead of Christmas, as well as hospitals and nuclear power.

The gas is used in food packaging and as a method of stunning animals prior to slaughter.

That three-week deal has now come to end, with a new deal in place until January.

According to a government statement, companies that buy carbon dioxide from CF have agreed to pay "a price for the CO2 it produces that will enable it to continue operating while global gas prices remain high, drawing on support from industry and delivering value for money for the taxpayer".

The rate at which prices will rise is said to be "commercially sensitive".

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: "Today's agreement means that critical industries can have confidence in their supplies of CO2 over the coming months without further taxpayer support."

CF chief executive Tony Will added: "We are pleased to have reached a commercial solution that enables the Billingham complex to continue to operate through January, alleviating near-term CO2 supply concerns in the UK."

The company said "a longer-term solution to CO2 supply and to support sustainable and competitive UK ammonia and fertiliser production" is expected.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

This is the heartwarming moment the Prince of Wales surprised a mum raising money in tribute to her late daughter.

Touching moment Prince William surprises woman on charity walk in tribute to daughter, 16, who took her own life

Rishi Sunak is fighting to keep the Tory party together

Brits could get a vote on Rwanda plan in national referendum, Tory MP tells LBC, as Sunak fights to keep party together

Boris Johnson spoke at the Covid inquiry again on Thursday

Ten things we learned from Boris Johnson's second day at the Covid inquiry

Donald Trump

Donald Trump back at New York civil fraud trial as testimony nears end

This is the moment a Ulez camera explodes.

Counter-terror police investigating Ulez camera explosion after remains of IED found at scene of the blast

New Scotland Yard, London, Britain, UK

Six former Met Police officers handed suspended jail sentences after sending racist messages 'about Meghan Markle'

Will it snow this weekend/?

When is it going to snow next? Met Office verdict on weekend weather

Shane MacGowan's wife has given an update ahead of the star's funeral on Friday.

‘My heart is bursting open with love’: Shane MacGowan’s wife gives emotional update ahead of Pogues star’s funeral

Full dates of 2024 bank holidays

When is the next bank holiday? Full list of 2024 dates

The family of Ruth Perry said "urgent lessons" must be learned after a coroner concluded an Ofsted inspection contributed to her taking her own life.

Ruth Perry's family hits out at 'perverse, inhumane' Ofsted system as inquiry finds it 'likely contributed' to her death

Smoke rises following an Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel

Strikes on Gaza’s southern edge sow fear in one of last areas people can flee to

Dame Esther is set to step down from her presidency as she battles lung cancer.

Dame Esther Rantzen steps down as Childline president after terminal lung cancer diagnosis

Buildings were damaged by a massive explosion on Mahe, Seychelles

Seychelles declares state of emergency after explosion amid destructive flooding

The prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case is finding it difficult being accused of her kidnapping.

Madeleine McCann prime suspect 'struggling with pressure of being accused of one of most infamous crimes'

Prince Harry told the High Court he and Meghan were 'forced' to leave the UK

‘The UK is my home and Meghan and I were forced to leave,’ Prince Harry says in High Court security battle

Holly Willoughby is offered 'big money' deal with return to Dancing On Ice

Holly Willoughby to be offered 'big money' deal to return as Dancing On Ice co-host