By DANICA KIRKA Associated Press
LONDON (AP) – The UK government on Tuesday agreed to back a US company that produces much of the UK’s carbon dioxide, a deal designed to avoid shortages of meat, poultry and packaged food against a backdrop crisis triggered by soaring energy costs.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the government would provide “limited financial support” for three weeks to CF Fertilisers, which shut down operations at its UK factories last week due to high natural gas prices.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the “exceptional short-term deal” with the US company would allow the company to immediately restart operations and produce CO2 at its plant in the North. is from England.
CF Fertilizers produces around 60% of the UK’s CO2, which is used primarily by the food industry. Gas has a myriad of uses in food production, used to stun animals before slaughter, preserve fruits and vegetables before packaging, and put the sparkle in carbonated drinks.
“This agreement will ensure that the many critical industries that depend on a stable supply of CO2 have the resources they need to avoid disruption,” Kwarteng said.
Pressure on the UK food processing industry is one of the most visible impacts of a surge in natural gas prices as the global economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic – increasing demand of energy. Wholesale gas prices have tripled this year in Britain.