Announcement

Business Secretary examines economic impact of low carbon transition in the North East

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

As part of a tour of the North East to look at the economic impact of moving to a low carbon economy, Vince Cable visited Applied Superconductor…

As part of a tour of the North East to look at the economic impact of moving to a low carbon economy, Vince Cable visited Applied Superconductor Ltd (ASL) - based in Blyth, Northumberland and inspected the Superconducting Fault Current Limiter.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“The transition to a green economy presents significant growth opportunities both in the UK and abroad. The UK has the sixth largest low carbon economic goods and services market in the world.

“And the North East is well placed to capitalise with the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) based in Blyth while Nissan are investing £420 million to build a battery plant and electric car production in Sunderland, securing and creating over 550 jobs.

“The number of renewable energy sources is growing rapidly throughout the country, and Applied Superconductor Ltd is at the cutting edge of the technology that will maximize the energy contribution made by renewables, saving energy companies money as well as reducing their carbon emissions.”

Vince Cable also visited two manufacturing companies Rio Tinto Alcan and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) where he discussed the challenges facing energy intensive industries.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“As part of the transition to a low carbon economy we need to ensure that energy intensive industries remain competitive and that we send a clear message that the UK is open for business.

“I’m visiting the manufacturing companies Rio Tinto Alcan and SABIC today to see for myself the particular challenges they face.

“By autumn of this year, we will announce a package of measures for businesses whose international competitiveness is most affected by the consequences of our energy and climate change policies.

“We will work with industry on how we do this - and we’re committed to being transparent about the costs. Last week the Department for Energy and Climate Change published its analysis of the cumulative cost of energy and climate change policies, something that businesses had asked us for.”

SABIC is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chemicals, fertilizers, plastics and metals with 700 direct jobs, 400 contractors and around 4,000 indirect jobs.

Rio Tinto Alcan’s Lynemouth plant is the largest private sector employer in Northumberland with 630 direct jobs and around 3,000 indirect. The Lynemouth product - sheet ingot - is exported to rolling mills in Europe where it is used in a variety of markets including construction, packaging and print.**

Notes to editors:


  1. The Superconducting Fault Current Limiter, achieves substantial savings through reducing energy losses and significantly improving the quality and security of supply. Support for the device is growing rapidly. Just last month ASL signed a £4m contract with Rolls Royce and the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a public-private partnership between six global industrial companies and the UK Government, to reduce downtime from electrical power cuts.
  2. Last week the Department for Energy and Climate Change published its analysis of the cumulative cost of energy and climate change policies. It can be found at http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/about/ec_social_res/analytic_projs/price_bill_imp/price_bill_imp.aspx. These are explicitly provisional, and are intended to inform ongoing discussions with the industry ahead of both the full updated costs assessment due to be published alongside the annual energy statement in the autumn.
  3. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

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Name Nick Evans Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 3496 Fax

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Email nick.evans@bis.gsi.gov.uk