British carbon dioxide maker CF Industries closes Chester plant

British carbon dioxide maker CF Industries is closing its plant just months after receiving a taxpayer bailout

A fertilizer giant that produces the bulk of Britain’s carbon dioxide supplies is to close a factory just months after receiving a taxpayer bailout.

CF Industries will close its site in Ince, Chester, putting nearly 300 jobs at risk.

It has been closed since ministers stepped in to avert a supply crisis last year, awarding CF Industries a grant worth tens of millions of pounds.

Shutdown: CF Industries will close its site in Ince, Chester (pictured), putting more than 300 jobs at risk. It has been closed since ministers stepped in to prevent a supply crisis last year

The bailout has allowed its Billingham factory to reopen in Teesside, which will now supply all of its fertilizer production to the UK.

FC produces 60% of UK CO2 as a by-product of fertilizer production, with the gas used to make soft drinks and to package fresh food.

Bosses are in talks with workers and unions over the layoffs. A commercial department spokesperson said: ‘The closure is a business decision for CF Fertilizer and will not impact CO2 supplies.’

“The government gave only limited financial support, for three weeks last year, to restart the Billingham plant.

“Without intervention, the CO2 shortage could have had a serious impact on the food processing sector, the NHS and nuclear power generation.”