The UK gas crisis started in the latter stages of September as we saw gas prices increase dramatically. For consumers and residents of the UK, the gas crisis has already had an impact on energy bills. But, what does this whole thing mean for local businesses?
A shortage in CO2
As a result of the gas price increase, we’ve seen an extreme CO2 shortage. Why has this happened, and where has it come from? Effectively, it’s all down to the impact of the gas crisis on CF Industries – the largest fertiliser producer in the UK. They had to shut down their two main plants because gas prices rose to a point where it was simply not feasible for them to continue operations.
Consequently, they stopped producing CO2, which was a by-product of the fertiliser and could be used to sell to other businesses throughout different industries. Now, this is where the gas crisis has really impacted local businesses as a range of companies rely on CO2 for various practices.
A problem for pubs
Perhaps the most quintessential local business in the UK, pubs have been directly hit by the gas crisis. As a knock-on effect from the CO2 shortage, it’s been harder for pub owners to get their hands on cellar gas. There are plenty of cellar gas suppliers in the UK, but they’re struggling to provide the CO2 concoction to pubs.
Why does this matter? Cellar gas is used to carbonate tap beverages in pubs and also used to dispense beer. It increases the shelf-life of beer as well, so many pub owners are left with beer that could go off if the crisis isn’t solved, costing them a fortune in operating costs.
A big issue for the food industry
Alongside this, many local food companies and suppliers are struggling due to the CO2 shortage. Farm owners will often use this gas to stun animals before they are slaughtered for meat to sell to supermarkets across the country. CO2 is also used to package food products to extend their shelf life. Many food transportation companies use it to keep food fresh during deliveries.
As you can see, there are hundreds of local businesses in the food industry that will be negatively affected by the gas crisis, thanks to the shortage of CO2. It means businesses can’t operate as they used to, forcing people to either temporarily close or spend a lot of money on CO2.
In conclusion, the UK gas crisis means a lot for small companies. Primarily, it means that operating costs are increasing, and the supply of CO2 is decreasing. Aside from commercial energy bills rising, it’s the CO2 shortage that’s really hitting businesses where it hurts. There is hope on the horizon, however! Experts are hoping that wholesale gas prices will decrease and return to a steady rate in the coming months, meaning CO2 production can return to normal. In fact, the government is already agreeing to help fund the operating costs of CF Industries’ plant on Teesside for 3 weeks, meaning they can start producing more CO2 as a by-product.
It’s all a bit of a mess, but hopefully, things smooth themselves out very soon!