UK exempts CO2 suppliers from competition law amid energy crisis

Move in line with similar pause in fuel industry to help alleviate petrol crisis

The UK has temporarily exempted parts of the carbon dioxide industry from competition law to help secure supplies of the gas for the country's businesses.

Britain last week warned food producers to prepare for a 400 per cent rise in CO2 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 fertiliser plants to shut in recent weeks, leading to a shortage of CO2 used to put the fizz into beer and sodas and stun poultry and other livestock 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,” Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said.

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 co-ordinate their response to petrol shortages.

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change 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.

Updated: October 1st 2021, 5:41 PM