Will the UK fertiliser closure mean deeper market turmoil?

Fears are growing over another carbon dioxide crisis after CF Industries’ decision to halt production at its Billingham plant in Teesside

Big Zero Report 2022

CF Fertilisers has announced its intention to “temporarily halt” ammonia production at its Billingham Complex plant.

It is estimated that the company supplies nearly 40% of the country’s carbon dioxide.

In a statement, CF Fertilisers said: “At current natural gas and carbon prices, CF Fertilisers UK’s ammonia production is uneconomical with marginal costs above £2,000 per tonne and global ammonia prices at about half that level.”

Earlier this year, ELN reported that CF Fertilisers would close its Ince manufacturing facility near Chester. The project is one of the only two major fertiliser plants in the country.

The company produces carbon dioxide as a by-product of its fertiliser production – the gas is supplied to a large range of sectors, including NHS, nuclear power plants and the food industry.

Last year, the company struck a short-term deal with the government to restart operations for carbon dioxide production amid food supply fears.

A government spokesperson told ELN: “We are aware that CF Fertilisers has taken the decision to temporarily halt ammonia production in Billingham.

“Since last autumn, the C02 market’s resilience has improved, with additional imports, further production from existing domestic sources and better stockpiles.

“While the government continues to examine options for the market to improve resilience over the longer term, it is essential industry acts in the interests of the public and business to do everything it can to meet demand.”

Network with hundreds of businesses and public sector organisations taking bigger steps to net zero. Book your FREE ticket to the Big Zero Show 2023 now. 

If you enjoyed this story you can sign up to our weekly email for Energy Live News – and if you’re interested in hearing more about the journey to net zero by 2050, you can also sign up to the future Net Zero newsletter. 

Latest Podcast