Industry leaders warned Government That rising energy costs could cause factories across the country to stop production.
Andrew Large, Director General of the Confederation of Paper Industries, and Gareth Stace of UK Steel attended the meeting with the Business Secretary. quasi quartengo and other representatives of energy intensive industries will discuss the bulk gas crisis on Friday afternoon.
talking to bbc radio After the 4 PM event, Mr Large claimed it was “very clear” in all areas that there are factories at “serious” risk that could halt all activity as a result of gas prices being too high.
Every minute that machinery is not working, every minute that paper is not being produced, hurts the profitability of the sector.
He said: “When we talked with Secretary of State This afternoon, it was very clear to all sectors that there are serious risks of effectively closing the factory as a result of gas costs being too high to bear, and that those conditions would have a gradual knock-on effect. Through supply chains, through manufacturing, consumer retail and other products. And so the risks are very, very real. “
Asked what this would mean for the paper industry, Mr Large said it would be detrimental to profitability.
He added: “Every minute the machinery is not working, every minute paper is not being produced, it hurts the profitability of the sector and hurts future investment potential and opportunities going forward.”
Speaking to Channel 4 News, Mr Stace claimed the government had done “nothing” to ease the crisis, unlike other governments in Europe.
He said: “What we are asking Quasi Quarteng to do at wholesale prices today is just to take steps, in the short term, to ease the pressure that their governments are already investing in, like in Portugal or Italy. There are several billions of euros, to help their industries, and the UK government has not done anything yet.”
On what could be the worst-case scenario, Mr. Stace said steel plants could be closed for good.
He explained: “The nightmare scenario would be that we produce less steel in the UK, that we look at all the steel that we consume in the UK, and that is increasing, to be met by imports and once You’ll take the steel plants, you don’t actually bring them back.
“That’s for good. Once it’s done, it’s done.”
The Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG) said it welcomed the opportunity to meet with the Business Secretary and is pleased to seek practical solutions to the challenges facing members this winter.
EIUG President Dr Richard Lees said: “Our message to the Secretary of State was for immediate and preventive measures to help avoid the recent production cuts in the fertilizer and steel sectors, which are being replicated in other sectors this winter.
“The EIUG will work with the government to avoid threats to the production of essential domestic and industrial products as well as a vast range of supply chains critical to our economy and leveling the country.”
The membership of the EIUG includes trade associations and customer groups representing the most energy consuming industrial sectors in the UK.
These are UK Steel, Chemical Industries Association, Confederation of Paper Industries, Mineral Products Association, British Glass Manufacturers Federation, British Ceramics Confederation, BOC, Air Products and Major Energy User Council.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said in a statement about the meeting: “The Trade Secretary stressed that the government is confident in the safety of gas supplies this winter. It also highlighted the £2 billion support package provided to the industry from the
“The Business Secretary noted that he was determined to secure a competitive future for our energy-intensive industries and promised to continue working closely with companies in the days to come and address any issues faced by businesses. To help mitigate the effects of cost escalation.”
shadow business secretary Ed Miliband Responding to Mr Quarteng’s conversation with industry representatives, arguing that “this is a crisis made in Downing Street”.
He added: “Kwasi Quarteng is scrambling to meet industry masters, but he’s all talking. This chaotic Tory government got us into this mess in the first place and has no plans to address it.” Is. “
The meeting comes at a time when analysts have predicted Britons could see their energy bills rise by 30% next year.
Research agency Cornwall Insight has claimed that further fluctuations in gas prices and a possible collapse of even more suppliers could push the energy price range up to around £1,660 in the summer.
The forecast is about 30% higher than the record for the £1,277 price range set for winter 2021-22, which began in early October.
Energy regulator Offgame reviews the price cap once every six months, and changes it based on the cost that suppliers have to pay for their energy, the cost of policies and operating costs, among other things.
Mr Quarteng said consumers would be better insulated from uncertain gas prices as wind and solar power begins to provide more energy to UK homes.