Manufacturers call for safer gas supply

ceramicsCohen300Energy-intensive manufacturers are calling for urgent Government intervention to protect industry from gas shortages, warning that UK supplies of gas have been running perilously low and that the consequences of this are harming firms and stifling employment.

Organisations including the British Ceramic Confederation, the British Chambers of Commerce and the TUC claim that temporarily running out of gas altogether would be disastrous for many producers.

Dr Laura Cohen (pictured), chief executive of the British Ceramic Confederation, said: “In March there were times when there was almost no spare gas in the UK – and we believe supply interruptions are inevitable in future unless action is taken immediately.”

During March, gas prices varied between 75p per therm and £1.50 per therm as a result of concerns over supply – in particular when an interconnector at the Bacton gas terminal in Norfolk failed.

Wayne Sheppard, managing director of Ibstock Brick said that if his company had to turn off its kilns at short notice it could cause extremely serious damage, while Dr Adam Marshall, director of policy and external affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Large-scale investment in plant is often dependent on stability and having confidence in the future. How can these industries be expected to create jobs and wealth if there are serious concerns about the fuel on which they depend?”

At the TUC, head of economics and social affairs Nicola Smith said uncertainty over gas supplies hampered employment.

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.


About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
This entry was posted in Construction, energy, Manufacturing management and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s