The UK ceramics sector is calling on the Government to provide continuing support to help deal with mounting energy costs.
Record increases in the price of gas of up to 20 times previous levels have hit ceramics which is one of the most energy-intensive industries in the UK.
The energy crisis has proved especially devastating for firms which rely on firing products to a very high temperature.
Rob Flello, Chief Executive of the Stoke-on-Trent-based British Ceramic Confederation, is urging the Government not to leave ceramics in a “precarious position” when its current support scheme comes to an end in March 2023.
He said: “Whilst we welcomed the Government’s non-domestic Energy Bill Relief Scheme as a lifeline, their announcement of a review sparked concern.”
Rob added: “We warned that if Government support was downgraded, then this industry would be on a cliff edge.
“The Government needs to signal that it understands how important Foundation Industries are to the wealth and stability of the UK; for investment, jobs, and the Levelling Up agenda.
“Therefore, it is essential that Government continues to provide protection and support for Foundation Industries such as UK ceramics. The British Ceramic Confederation has made detailed representations to Government both individually and as part of the Energy Intensive Users’ Group in calling for further support for our members and the wider UK energy intensive industries.
“Internationally competitive energy and carbon costs are also essential if we are to compete on a global stage.
“Looking to the future, the sector is committed to decarbonising in line with the UK’s ambition for net zero by 2050, and UK ceramics is playing its part, but without Government support during the energy crisis, there are no guarantees our industrial sector will be around in 2050.”
- Volatile energy prices are adding tens of millions of pounds to UK ceramic companies’ gas bills, with some seeing rises from £1.1m for six months to nearly £12m.