The UK government has struck a deal with CF Industries to restart production at two of its fertiliser plants to ease fears of a carbon dioxide (CO2) shortage in the UK, according to reports.

UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has been in talks with CF Industries about its UK subsidiary CF Fertilisers resuming operations at Ince, Cheshire, and Billingham, Teeside, which together produce around 60% of the UK’s CO2 supply.

It has not been confirmed what incentives or subsidies the UK government has offered the US fertiliser firm.

The deal comes as a relief to UK food and drink companies, which had warned they have ten days left of CO2 in reserve.

CO2 is a byproduct of fertiliser production and is used for the slaughter of animals and in the food packaging process, as well as carbonating drinks. Dry ice, a solid form of carbon dioxide, is used for food freezing as well as storing vaccines for diseases like Covid-19, as well as other medicines.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said CO2 production had been impacted due to “the world economy waking up after quite a long period of cryogenic paralysis - it’s unfreezing everywhere and that is causing supply chain problems”.

CF Industries stopped production at its two plants in northern England on 15th September, due to the rise in prices of natural gas.