THE Government has agreed to provide “limited financial support” for CF Fertilisers’ operating costs for three weeks while the carbon dioxide market adapts to global gas prices, it has been announced.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the “exceptional short-term arrangement”, brokered by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, with the US-owned firm would allow the company to immediately restart operations and produce carbon dioxide at its Billingham plant in Teesside.

CF Fertilisers produces around 60% of UK’s CO2, used primarily by the food sector.

Mr Kwarteng said: “This agreement will ensure the many critical industries that rely on a stable supply of CO2 have the resources they require to avoid disruption.

“The quick and decisive action we have taken to resolve the issue shows the seriousness with which we have approached it.

“In our ongoing response to manage the impact of global gas price rises, we will continue to protect businesses and consumers.”

Earlier, Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham welcomed the announcement that CF Fertilisers will restart production following an agreement with the Government.

He said: “I am delighted that an agreement has been reached which will see CF Fertiliser restart production at its Billingham plant.

"This is great news for our area, the hundreds of people who work there, and the many businesses and others from food processors to hospitals who rely on its products, specifically the CO2 which is produced as a by-product in the manufacture of fertiliser. 

“At my meeting with the Secretary of State I re-emphasised the need to find a long-term solution to the pressure being felt by CF and other energy intensive industries on Teesside and for a new plan of action on carbon and gas transportation prices which along with rising gas prices is putting many businesses and jobs at risk.

"I hope he learns from the events of the past few days and comes forward with a sustainable long-term plan in the near future.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen tweeted: "Fantastic that Kwasi has secured this deal, protecting hundreds of jobs in Teesside.

"I know how hard he’s worked in recent days to protect these jobs and livelihoods for local people."