High gas prices force closure of two UK fertiliser plants

UK energy updates

Hovering gasoline prices have pressured the closure of two fertiliser crops inside the north of England in considered one of many first indicators {{that a}} worldwide present crunch would possibly drive many energy intensive industries to cut back train this winter.

New York-listed fertiliser group CF Industries Holdings is halting manufacturing at its crops in Billingham in Teesside and Ince in Cheshire as a consequence of extreme gasoline prices. It did “not have an estimate for when manufacturing will resume on the providers”, the group talked about in a statement overnight.

British Gasoline-owner Centrica had warned at the start of the month {{that a}} worldwide present crunch would possibly drive heavy enterprise to curb manufacturing inside the winter months. UK Steel, a commerce physique, had moreover warned this week that a number of of its members had been suspending operations all through certain hours of the day when energy prices had been “eye-watering”.

Gasoline prices inside the UK and Europe have surged to current highs in present weeks as retailers warn the continent is heading into the essential factor heating season with doc low shares. Shares had been left low after extended chilly local weather remaining winter, whereas lower offers from Russia and highly effective demand for liquefied pure gasoline (LNG) in Asia has restricted injections into storage providers over the summer time season. The gasoline crunch has had a knock-on influence on power prices.

CF Industries’ Ince plant has been in operation since 1965, employs 400 people and produces about 1 million tonnes of fertiliser a yr, in response to the company’s UK web page. The Billingham facility has a workforce of 190 people.

“Companies who immediately face these prices as an enormous worth would possibly wrestle this winter as there appears to be little sign of these prices slowing down,” talked about Rajiv Gogna, a companion at LCP Energy Analytics.

The closures are inclined to enhance stress on UK ministers and British energy regulator Ofgem to take movement to protect enterprise and households.

Gareth Stace, director-general of UK Steel, talked about earlier this week that “the [UK] authorities and Ofgem ought to be able to take movement as this instance continues”, together with that “the state of affairs will get additional urgent on daily basis”.

In Britain, already extreme gasoline prices had been exacerbated this week by a fire at the UK’s main subsea cable that imports electrical power from France. The IFA1 cable, which often has a functionality of two gigawatts, will solely run at half functionality until the highest of March subsequent yr following the incident. Analysts think about the nation ought to rely far more intently on gas-fired power stations in coming weeks and possibly months.

The UK authorities has been approached for contact upon the fertiliser plant closures.

With reporting by Tom Wilson in London material materials/b2e7b6ed-fa14-48e1-a463-4d3b09c654dd | Extreme gasoline prices drive closure of two UK fertiliser crops

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