Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, has welcomed the announcement that an agreement has been reached to ensure UK businesses have a sustainable supply of CO2 until January 2022 – but has repeated his calls for a longer-term plan to tackle the pressures felt by CF Fertilisers and other energy intensive industries across the country.
CF Fertilisers announced a temporary shutdown of production in September, citing high energy costs, and re-opened after a three-week grant was agreed by the Government. Now, CO2 suppliers have agreed to pay CF Fertilisers a price for the CO2 it produces that will enable it to continue operating while global gas prices remain high. This will guarantee operation until January 2022 and safeguard jobs.
Alex met with Energy Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng MP during the crisis to raise his concerns with energy prices and the need for Government to put together a plan of action to deal with energy, carbon and gas transportation prices, which is hurting businesses. Alex along with Justin Madders, the Member of Parliament for Ellsemere Port and Neston, also met with CF Fertilisers to this afternoon to discuss the future needs of the industry.
“I am pleased that an agreement has been reached which will see CF Fertiliser able to continue operating. This announcement is good news for our area, the people who work at CF, and the many businesses, from food processors to hospitals, who rely on the CO2 produced as a by-product in the manufacture of fertiliser.
“This is a short-term industry-led agreement, however, and there is still a great deal of uncertainty about what comes next. The Government needs to do more than simply facilitate these conversations between industry; it needs to act. Industries like CF Fertilisers need to see Government action on fundamental issues transportation and carbon costs so they can guarantee a more sustainable future. These are the things I’ve raised with Ministers time and again, yet they continue to fall on deaf ears.
“I’d again urge the Energy Secretary to look again at the underlying issues the industry and I are telling him about and come up with a plan to deal with these as a matter of urgency.”