Chance & Hunt Limited, part of the Azelis Group based in Runcorn, UK, has announced it has closed a deal to purchase GrowHow UK Limited’s (GHUK) carbon dioxide liquefaction business at Billingham, UK.

GrowHow UK Ltd is a joint venture between Terra Industries Inc. of the US and Yara International ASA of Norway, with the business to be acquired based upon the manufacturing, sales and distribution of liquefied carbon dioxide derived as a co-product from the ammonia plant operated by GHUK.

Carbon dioxide has perhaps its greatest application in the production of carbonated beverages and is also used in the cold-chain in the food industry to keep food fresh, as well as a number of cooling and freezing applications. Product supplied from the Billingham plant has HACCP and Kosher certification.

The announcement comes after the news that Yara International is to invest €30m in a new world-scale liquid carbon dioxide facility and enter into a long term partnership with the Ensus Group - which will eventually see the company providing high purity liquid gases for the UK food and beverages industry.

This deal follows the successful take-over and integration of Kemira GrowHow’s Process Chemicals business in 2007 involving the sales of nitric acid, anhydrous ammonia and aqueous ammonia in the UK. This came about as a consequence of Kemira GrowHow’s joint venture with Terra Nitrogen in the UK to form GHUK.

The opportunity to purchase the Liquefied Carbon Dioxide business, which has annual sales of more than £5m, arose as a result of commitments given by Yara International ASA to the European Commission in respect of its acquisition of Kemira GrowHow. The sale of the GrowHow UK carbon dioxide business to Chance & Hunt has been approved by the European Commission.