£7bn energy package announced near Wrexham

Published date: 28 March 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A MULTI-BILLION pound package to reduce energy costs across the country has been announced near Wrexham.

Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb visited chipboard manufacturer Kronospan in Chirk yesterday to reveal the £7billion Business Energy Package designed to radically reduce the costs of energy policy for every business, household and region in the country.

Mr Crabb also said the measures would improve incentives for companies returning their manufacturing to Britain. “The economic picture in Wales and UK wide is a rapidly improving one, with the manufacturing sector showing significant signs of recovery.

“This Government wants to make that recovery last and lowering energy costs for businesses is a vital component of this effort.

“Through the Business Energy Package we have accelerated our efforts to make energy prices more affordable and to help our UK-based businesses to keep pace with their competitors elsewhere.”

Announced at last week’s Budget, the package is expected to save Welsh businesses up to £240 million between 2016-17 and 2018-19, plus a further £230m over the same period due to the action being taken to reduce the Carbon Price Floor.

Kronospan, one of the top 10 manufacturing companies in Wales, is one of the main companies expected to benefit from the capped Carbon Support Rate which will be £18 from 2016 because of its high energy requirements.

Ludwig Scheiblreiter, chief executive officer of Kronospan Ltd, who took Mr Crabb on a tour of the site with chairman Mike McKenna to discuss the benefits, said: “I am pleased the government has acted to ensure British industry is not disadvantaged compared to the competition elsewhere.

“Addressing the problems of the UK’s energy costs and infrastructure is essential for the long term health and development of manufacturing in the UK. So the Government’s intervention is very welcome at this time.”

Last May, Mr Crabb was joined by Minister for Energy and Industry, Michael Fallon MP and representatives from some of Wales’ most energy intensive sectors to discuss how the government can help with energy costs.

He added: “Energy intensive manufacturing is central to strengthening our industrial base and rebalancing our economy.

The Wales Office has continued to actively engage with energy intensive industries in Wales and to press its concerns about energy costs with Ministerial colleagues.

Mr Crabb said: “I am sure the measures this government has announced to date will be welcomed by these industries, as we continue to create the right conditions for businesses to grow and to make Wales an attractive location for industry to invest.”

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