Government agrees CO2 deal

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The government has agreed a short-term deal with CF Fertilisers, which produces around 60% of the UK’s CO2, to ensure the continued supply to businesses.

The arrangement will allow the company to immediately restart operations and produce CO2, used primarily by the food sector, at its Billingham plant. The government will provide limited financial support for CF Fertilisers’ operating costs for three weeks while the CO2 market adapts to global gas prices.

The government said it has held discussions with the main food producers and the supermarkets and they are committed to doing whatever it takes to move to a sustainable market-based solution by the end of the three-week period.

Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “This agreement will ensure the many critical industries that rely on a stable supply of CO2 have the resources they require to avoid disruption.

“The quick and decisive action we have taken to resolve the issue shows the seriousness with which we have approached it.

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

In response, British Soft Drinks Association Director General Gavin Partington, said: “With the likelihood that it may take a few days for production to resume, combined with ongoing HGV driver shortage issues, it’s possible that supply of certain products won’t be as abundant as usual over the next week or so, but this should only be a short-lived situation.”