UK chemicals producers unaffected by gas squeeze

08 January 2010 13:16  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--The UK chemical industry's largest consumers of natural gas have not been affected by moves by supplier National Grid to restrict gas supplies to some industrial consumers, sources with the companies said on Friday.

INEOS Chlor, which uses gas mainly for electricity generation, said it had been unaffected by restrictions put on some gas users on interruptible supply contracts.

Another major natural gas consumer, ammonia maker GrowHow, which uses natural gas as a feedstock, has no interruptible supply contracts and had therefore not been affected by the restrictions, a spokeswoman said.

Smaller gas users would be expected to turn to alternative energy sources should gas supplies be restricted, industry sources said.

Natural gas is widely used across the sector for steam raising and process-temperature control

UK gas demand has increased markedly during the recent bout of extremely cold weather, prompting National Grid to issue two gas balancing alerts, which are issued when gas demand exceeds supply.

National Grid had asked 95 large users on interruptible supply contracts to stop using gas because of high local gas demand. That number was reduced to 27 on Friday.

The alerts prompted widespread fears of further gas supply restrictions during the cold snap.

Gas supply to the UK was restricted earlier in the week from Norway’s Troll field through the Langeled pipeline.

More gas was being pumped through the pipeline on Friday, and the UK’s gas interconnector with Belgium was delivering supplies, according to gas, power and carbon information service ICIS Heren.

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By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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