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Build & Sustainability

CO2 deal secured to maintain operations at CF Fertilisers’ Billingham plant, Government says

A deal has been struck to ensure the continuation of work at a Teesside carbon dioxide plant, the Government has claimed.

Downing Street says industry players have reached a CO2 supply agreement – which means operations at CF Fertilisers’ near 200-job Billingham ammonia plant can carry on.

The firm was forced to halt production last year amid “high natural gas prices”, with the Government forced to step in and provide an emergency multi-million-pound bail-out.

However, ministers say industry has now reached a deal that guarantees UK firms’ access to CO2 supplies.

CF Fertilisers makes carbon dioxide as a by-product, with the gas used extensively across the food and drink industry for processes that include adding fizz to drinks and making dry ice for storage.

A Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy spokesperson said: “The Government welcomes industry’s agreement, which is in the best interests of businesses.

“In September 2021, the Government provided limited financial support for CF Fertilisers’ operating costs for three weeks.

“Industry then came to an agreement in October, without taxpayer support, to ensure CF Fertilisers could continue to operate for three months.

“In the longer term, the Government would like to see the market take measures to improve resilience, and we are engaging on ways this could happen.”

Reacting to the announcement, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This will be a huge relief for the hundreds of Teessiders that work at the Billingham plant.

“This deal will give certainty to both local workers and those industries that rely on carbon dioxide.”