A second major carbon dioxide producer could be back online within days to ease the UK’s national shortage, a director has said.
Teesside-based Ensus can supply around 40% of the UK’s demand for CO2 but the biofuels plant has been on an annual shutdown for routine maintenance.
The plant, at Wilton International, produces CO2 as a by-product of turning wheat into bioethanol – which can be used as a fuel or additive to petrol – and it should be back online next week.
Ensus director Grant Pearson said the shutdown had been planned six months ago, and the switch-on next week is still on schedule.
He said: “We make around 40% of the UK’s demand so we don’t fix the whole problem – but we are part of the solution.”
Carbon dioxide is used in the food chain, to stun chicken and pigs before slaughter, in health services and in the nuclear industry.
CF Fertilisers, which has two UK plants, one of which is in nearby Billingham, has been forced into a shutdown by the high price of gas.
Carbon dioxide is a by-product of fertiliser manufacture and the US firm supplies around 60% of the UK’s needs.
After the Government stepped in with a loan, production at the CF site could be back online in several days following the shutdown.