Fuel, fertiliser and food: how a UK ammonia plant threatened nation with crisis

A Teesside fertiliser factory might seem an unlikely linchpin for the UK food industry. But when CF Industries last week closed the plant along with another in Cheshire, the supply chain crisis prompted by a sudden carbon dioxide crunch caught the government and the company off guard.

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UK’s supply of food-grade CO2, a byproduct of ammonia production, is critical to sectors from beer and soft drinks to food packaging and meat. Boris Johnson, the U.K. Prime Minister, drinks beer from a pint glass during a campaign tour, in London in 2019.
UK’s supply of food-grade CO2, a byproduct of ammonia production, is critical to sectors from beer and soft drinks to food packaging and meat. Boris Johnson, the U.K. Prime Minister, drinks beer from a pint glass during a campaign tour, in London in 2019. (Foto: Henry Nicholls/Bloomberg)