UK pauses competition law for CO2 suppliers amid shortages

by Reuters
Friday, 1 October 2021 16:00 GMT

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Oct 1 (Reuters) - Britain has temporarily exempted parts of the carbon dioxide (CO2) industry from competition law to help provide further security of the gas's supplies to businesses in the country.

Britain last week warned food producers to prepare for a 400% rise in carbon dioxide prices after extending emergency state support as rising costs of wholesale natural gas led to fears of poultry and meat shortages.

The natural gas price surge has forced some fertilizer plants - Britain's main source of CO2, a byproduct of the industry - to shut in recent weeks, leading to a shortage of CO2 used to put the fizz into beer and sodas and stun poultry and pigs before slaughter.

"Companies in the CO2 industry can now work together to ensure that key sectors receive the supplies they need and come to a sustainable market solution," said Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng in a statement

The step is in line with Britain's approach to tackling the current fuel crisis. Last week, the country suspended competition laws to allow fuel suppliers to share information and coordinate their response to petrol shortages.

The energy department also said major supplier Ensus has restarted its CO2 operations, while CF Fertilisers' plant was now operating at full capacity following an agreement last week.

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra and Steve Orlofsky)

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