As empty shelves chaos deepens in Britain’s supermarkets due to supply chain concerns, the government has said it will do ‘whatever it can’ to prevent the failure of further energy companies. Therefore, in order to clarify the state of things, PM ‘Boris Johnson’ has admitted that the current crisis could last months.
In his response, the prime minister promised the government will do “whatever we can” to keep liquefied gas supplies flowing to ensure the collapse of energy companies battered by the sharp spike in wholesale prices is prevented.
Meanwhile, the whole of Europe including the United Kingdom is reportedly braced with the highest gas price despite flows. As the issue of Nord Stream 2 continues to divide the bloc, piping Russian gas via the controversial pipeline which could somehow stabilize the European gas market may be considered due to growing energy concerns, but that will only happen if the German energy regulator – BnetAz gives its approval.
Further on this, Mr. Johnson insisted that the crisis, which has triggered knock-on effects in addition to carbon dioxide shortage threatening meat production as well as the distribution of frozen food – would be “temporary”, yet, he showed unwillingness to give any assurance that the situation would not last for months.
PM Boris Johnson in his response to reporters, said “It could be faster than that, it could be much faster than that. But there are problems with shipping, with containers, with staff. There are all sorts of problems that affect the entire world”.
Mr. Johnson also made clear that his administration is ready to step in to avoid the failure of further energy firms after four ceased trading in recent days.
“I have no doubt that supply issues will be readily addressed”, he said. We’re very confident in our supply chains.
“But in the meantime, we will work with all the gas companies to do whatever we can to keep people’s supplies coming, to make sure they don’t go out of business, and to make sure we get through the current difficult period”.
Yet, Mr. Johnson also declined to say whether official action could include a temporary suspension of the energy price cap which actually forced suppliers to sell gas to customers at less than it was costing them. Adding that
“I want to give a general reassurance that the problems we are seeing are temporary”, he said. “They are caused by the resurgence of the global economy as Covid starts to retreat in parts of the world.
“Particularly in Asia, there is a phenomenal demand for gas, LNG (liquid natural gas) in particular. And you’re seeing that demand affects supply around the world. That’s basically what’s going on.
“As the world starts firing on all cylinders – to use a hydrocarbon metaphor – things will start to smooth out”.
Not only has low supplies of gas affected the energy firms but fertilizer plants, two to be precise which is operated in the north of England by U.S. company CF Industries, which also produce CO2 as a byproduct, deployed as a preservative in fresh food packaging and frozen goods. Although, the blow to the subject industry heightens pressure from a 100,000 shortfall in numbers of lorry drivers in the wake of Brexit coupled with the Covid pandemic that reduced the range in items supplied to shops by distributors.
In another dimension, some had suggested that EU withdrawal was to blame for empty shelves, which Mr. Johnson played down while insisting that it was due to global supply chain problems.
“The gas supply issue is global, the HGV is in the U.S. as well as Europe”, he said. “So we’re seeing these same sorts of problems everywhere. But I think market forces will be very, very swift in sorting it outing we’re going to do whatever we can to help”.
Nonetheless, he noted that the economy is bouncing back very strongly, affirming that it will take a while for things to adjust.
- What more should Britain expect?