Britain's steel producer warns of impending crisis due to soaring energy prices
Great Britain, like the rest of Europe, is at risk of facing one of the gravest energy crises in recent years. Soaring wholesale gas prices threaten to have a severe impact on the country and call Britain’s economic recovery into question.
Manufacturers were the first to sound the alarm on growing threats to the national economy. UK Steel, the British steel industry's lobby group, warned of an impending crisis due to a steep rise in wholesale gas prices.
The steel producer is increasingly concerned that a further rise in fuel prices will whiplash the economy, thus tipping companies into the red and eroding wages. "With winter approaching, demand for gas and electricity will rise, and prices could get higher, which will make it impossible to profitably make steel," the company said. In this case, some plants may be forced to wind down operations "for increasingly extended periods with the consequences not only for individual companies but also UK steel supply to the UK economy and UK jobs." Sudden plant shutdowns could damage equipment, increase costs, and eventually lead to "poorer environmental performance with higher emissions," UK Steel warned.
Against this background, the country's authorities are utterly confused. According to business minister Kwasi Kwarteng, the government is working on ways to support energy-intensive industries hit by rising gas prices. The official even called the situation critical.