Britain has said it will work with the energy sector to try to contain repercussions of price hikes gas after fears that more energy suppliers and food producers will struggle to operate at such high costs.
Business Minister Kwasi Quarting said he had received assurances that the security of gas supplies was not a cause for concern, but that he would work with suppliers to “manage the broader repercussions of increased global gas prices.”
Quarting held urgent talks yesterday with executives at National Grid, Centrica, EDF and Ofgem, Britain’s government regulator for electricity and gas markets, and further discussions with industry figures are scheduled for Sunday and Monday.
A jump in gas prices has already shut down many local energy suppliers and shuttered fertilizer plants, which also produce carbon dioxide, which is used to stun animals before slaughter and extend the shelf life of food.
Consumer groups and opposition politicians have warned that some customers and businesses will struggle to meet the higher costs.
The BBC reported that at least four small British energy companies are expected to go bankrupt within a week.
The Ministry of Business said it discussed the pressures facing companies during today’s talks. Quarting said he would not leave a customer without gas or electricity because an alternative supplier would be found if any company went bankrupt.
“Protecting customers during the period of high global gas prices is an absolute priority,” he added on Twitter.