BCC energy statement
Rob Flello, Chief Executive of the British Ceramic Confederation, said: “The energy crisis has delivered a body blow to the ceramics sector, which everyone in the country is feeling. But the quick response by the new Prime Minister and her Government gives hope that we can hold steady in these uncertain times.
“There may still be difficulties ahead, but the announcement held strong positives for the ceramics sector, and we especially welcome the decision to provide a price cap guarantee for all businesses for six months.
“It certainly buys time for our industry and gets us through winter 2022.
“The situation was becoming unsustainable, with industry facing 10-fold energy cost rises. These volatile energy prices were adding tens of millions of pounds to company bills, with some seeing rises from £1.1m for six months to nearly £12m. Therefore, this news is a lifeline and should protect jobs in the near future.
“But what then? What happens after six months? We look forward to having further discussions with the new administration about what long-term measures are needed to protect energy intensive industry, such as ceramics.
“Liz Truss talks about rebuilding the economy, but make no mistake, ceramics is at the very heart of what the UK needs for a strong, stable manufacturing backbone.
“Without the brick, tile, and clay pipe manufacturers there would be no housebuilding. There is no glass or steel industry without the refractories. There is no heat from waste without advanced ceramics. The list goes on.
“Therefore, the Foundation Industries must be a priority in six months’ time to be given further protection and support, and we will be working with Government to ensure that message is heard.
“As for further positives that we can take away from the announcement, we welcome the end of the moratorium on shale gas drilling as part of the Government’s response to the energy and cost of living crisis.
“News of an energy regulation review is good, and we particularly welcome a review of the push for net zero by 2050 so that it protects business. This is something we have been campaigning for, as the ceramics sector needs more support as it finds a clear pathway to decarbonisation.
“We look forward to further dialogue with the Government.”