MP raises monopoly fear as CO2 rescue bid fails

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MP raises prospect of monopoly emerging after offer to rescue a CO2 factory in Cheshire declined

An MP has raised the prospect of a monopoly emerging after an offer to rescue a CO2 factory in Cheshire was declined. 

The former head of the Army, Lord Dannatt, was spearheading consortium UK Nitrogen in a bid to buy the facility, which is capable of producing a significant portion of the country’s CO2. 

The gas, a by-product of the factory’s fertiliser production, is crucial in preserving fresh food and salads, as well as being used in fizzy drinks. 

No go: The rejection of the offer has sparked fears that owner CF Industries, which is based in the US, could avoid selling to ensure no competition emerges for its remaining plant

No go: The rejection of the offer has sparked fears that owner CF Industries, which is based in the US, could avoid selling to ensure no competition emerges for its remaining plant

Any deal for the plant in Ince, whose closure was announced last month, could save over 300 jobs and protect Britain’s carbon dioxide supplies. 

But the rejection of the offer has sparked fears that owner CF Industries, which is based in the US, could avoid selling to ensure no competition emerges for its remaining plant. 

CF Industries plans to keep its CO2 factory in Billingham, Teesside, open after receiving a Government bailout last year worth £10million. 

Labour MP Justin Madders, whose constituency includes Ince, said: ‘The concern I and a lot of employees have is there’s no real incentive to sell to someone who will become a competitor. 

‘The Government needs to think about the risk of having a major component of our food supply being limited to just one plant in the hands of foreign owners. 

‘There is a risk a monopoly situation will be created that will push up food prices even further.’

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