Following the high demand for gas due to the cold weather and several supply issues the UK’s gas system is being severely stretched with National Grid issuing a ‘gas deficit warning’. This is an early warning of a material risk that there might not be enough gas supply by the end of today. Throughout the last week of cold weather the gas market has seen sharp price increases and volatility. The British Ceramic Confederation (BCC) is therefore repeating its call for the Government to launch an inquiry into the amount of UK gas storage capacity.
The BCC has long campaigned for more UK gas storage capacity to buffer against the sharp price hikes associated with gas supply and demand shocks. In 2017 BCC expressed concern  at Centrica Storage’s announcement  to close their Rough gas storage facility permanently, which will result in the loss of around 75% of the UK’s gas storage capacity. BCC is also deeply concerned at the Government’s speed and complacency in allowing this to happen, without a review of the impacts, given Rough’s position as a nationally significant infrastructure asset. While the UK can access a variety of gas sources (from UK production, pipeline imports and LNG) it is readily accessible gas, such as that from stored reserves, that is important at times of need, such as now.
Following the sharp gas price increases seen this winter we are therefore urging Government intervention to ensure additional UK gas storage is built to protect industry and other consumers from damaging impacts of gas price spikes. Secure energy that businesses and other consumers can rely on is fundamental to the functioning of any modern economy.
Reacting to this week’s events, Dr Andrew McDermott, Technical Director of the British Ceramic Confederation, commented: “The UK is increasingly dependent on gas imports to heat our homes and keep businesses running. The price increases and fluctuations over this winter have illustrated the UK’s vulnerability to coping with gas supply or demand shocks. Today’s gas deficit warning is a major concern for our members and the resulting price increases damage the international competitiveness of large industrial gas users, such as ceramics, and the wider UK economy.”
Notes to Editors
The British Ceramic Confederation is the trade association for the UK ceramic manufacturing industry, representing the common and collective interests of all sectors of the industry. Its member companies cover the full spectrum of ceramic manufacture, including the supply of materials, and comprise over 90% of the industry’s manufacturing capacity.
- BCC press release: The Ceramic Sector calls for Urgent Government Action to Increase UK Gas Storage Capacity https://www.ceramfed.co.uk/news/press-release-the-ceramic-sector-calls-for-urgent-government-action-to-increase-uk-gas-storage-capacity/
- Centrica Storage: http://www.centrica-sl.co.uk/sites/default/files/rough_permanent_cessation_of_storage_operations_200617.pdf
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For further information please contact: Dr Andrew McDermott, Technical Director, British Ceramic Confederation, Mobile: +44 (0)7833 059661, email@example.com