Daily Mirror

Beer still flowing after CO2 lifeline


- Edited by GRAHAM mirror.co.uk/business HISCOTT

FEARS of beer shortages have been averted with a deal to keep carbon dioxide flowing for industry.

Fertiliser firm CF Industries, which makes 60% of the UK’s food-grade CO2, warned last year it would stop selling the gas due to surging costs.

The Government reached a deal at the time but that expired on Monday.

However, the Government has now confirmed it secured a new deal to ensure a “sustainabl­e” supply of food-grade CO2.

It is understood the agreement will last until at least the spring, although full details of have not been disclosed.

In a statement, the Department for Business, Energy and

Industrial Strategy said: “The carbon dioxide industry has come to an agreement to ensure UK businesses have access to a sustainabl­e supply of CO2 – an essential component of the national economy.

“The deal will enable CF Fertiliser­s’ Billingham plant [on Teesside] to continue to operate while global gas prices remain high. It means key sectors, including food processing and nuclear power, are ensured supplies of CO2.”

There had previously been industry concerns that a shortage of CO2 could result in empty shelves at supermarke­ts, with fresh produce, meat and fizzy drink firms reliant of CO2 for the production and packaging of items.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Associatio­n said: “We are encouraged by the agreement made between suppliers and CF industries, however we urgently need further details on the nature of the arrangemen­t in order to understand the impact on our sector and the longer term sustainabi­lity of CO2 supply for the UK

drinks sector.”

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