- Global US fertiliser firm produces 60 per cent of the UK’s carbon dioxide supply
- However, it shut two factories amid surging gas prices as they weren’t profitable
- Decision led to fears the food industry in the UK is facing disaster within days
- Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is now holding fresh talks with CF Industries millionaire chief executive Tony Will to end the shut down
By Danyal Hussain | 21 September 2021
DAILY MAIL — Ministers are desperately trying to persuade the millionaire boss of a US fertiliser firm that produces 60 per cent of the UK’s CO2 to restart production.
CF Industries, one of the biggest fertiliser businesses in the world, shut its two plants in Teesside and Cheshire after a large surge in gas prices meant continued production wouldn’t be profitable.
The plants produce 60 per cent of the UK’s carbon dioxide with the decision to close them blamed for plunging Britain into a CO2 crisis set to decimate the food industry, leading to animals having to be culled and supermarket shelves being empty.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is now holding fresh talks with CF Industries millionaire chief executive Tony Will, 55, in an attempt to persuade him to restart production.
Mr Kwarteng says No10 is considering ‘temporarily’ subsidising the company to get CO2 production back up and is ‘very hopeful’ a deal can be done soon.
However, he admitted ‘it may come at some cost’ after Mr Will is thought to have been unconvinced by the government’s offers at an initial meeting on Sunday.
News that CF Industries controls so much of the UK’s CO2 supply has prompted fury and disbelief from food industry bosses.
Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland, said yesterday: ‘The thing that has shocked me is that 60% of [CO2] production is concentrated in two factories which are both owned by a foreign business.
‘This is something that’s clearly critical to national security – not just food but also healthcare as well. So it seems quite perplexing that it’s at the whim of a private enterprise in terms of whether it’s profitable or not and therefore whether they produce the stuff or not.’ […]