The UK Government has been actively consulting with businesses on the impact of energy costs on their operations. The roundtable will provide businesses in Wales a further opportunity to discuss the issue and to comment on the current UK Government policies designed to ensure that UK businesses remain competitive as the UK works towards its climate change obligations.
As part of the Government’s ongoing plans to engage with energy intensive industries to assist them with their energy costs, the Ministers will outline how businesses can further engage with the Government’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR) consultation which is due later this year. The Government is committed to seek views from businesses as policies continue to be developed.
Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb said:
I am passionate that Wales should remain one of the most attractive places in the EU for manufacturing and heavy industry, especially with manufacturing creating jobs and boosting the economy. As a result I wanted to ensure the business representatives I meet today are fully engaged in the EMR exemption consultation. We must continue to compete on an international level and it is vital that we get this right. That is why I was so keen to host today’s roundtable with the Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon MP and meet key energy intensive businesses in Wales.
It is important to hear from industrial employers about what issues they face as high energy users.
We know that energy intensive industries are facing global challenges to remain competitive. This Government supports businesses and the launch of the EMR consultation later this year will set out some of the options.
Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said:
My priority as Business and Energy Minister is to make sure that we put in place policies that generate the necessary investment in energy infrastructure whilst ensuring important manufacturers in Wales and the rest of the UK remain competitive.
Tim Morris, Head of Public Affairs for Tata Steel Europe, said:
The stable provision of energy at a competitive cost is absolutely vital for the future of our industry in Wales. Here in Wales we have invested in some of the most energy-efficient, state-of-the-art steelmaking plant in Europe, we have created centres of excellence in the Welsh higher education sector to research energy optimisation and we are exploring the possibility of further developments in improving our energy generation and management capacity. The UK Government has a critical role to play in developing long-term solutions via its energy strategy. In this meeting we will be looking to present our case that a supportive Government strategy in this area will play an important part in building our future - securing and creating jobs in a foundation sector of the Welsh - and UK economy.