The ceramics sector has called for urgent action from the government to scale up the UK’s gas storage capacity following plans to close the largest facility of its kind.
The British Ceramic Confederation (BCC), along with the Major Energy Users Council (MEUC) and storage developer Stag Energy, say intervention is necessary to ensure additional new storage is put into place following the permanent closure of the Rough gas storage facility.
The groups say this is necessary to protect British industry and consumers from higher and more volatile gas prices.
Centrica said it would close the ageing site, which provides around 75% of the UK’s gas storage capacity, because it was uneconomic to get it back into decent condition.
The Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) has written to newly elected BEIS Chair Rachel Reeves, supporting the BCC’s requests for an inquiry into the closure and calling for clarity regarding the future of gas storage.
Dr Andrew McDermott, Technical Director of the BCC, said: “The loss of virtually all of the UK’s gas storage capacity will lead to higher and more volatile gas prices, especially during winter when demand is highest, which will be damaging to large industrial gas users, such as ceramics.”
The UK Government has given the go-ahead for the development of a new gas storage facility in Cheshire.