29/07/2011

NI Manufacturers Choose Gas Energy

Energy sources - and natural gas in particular - were in focus this week as the Stormont Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster launched a new guide designed to help local industry buy and use natural gas more efficiently.

It was jointly published by Manufacturing Northern Ireland and the Carbon Trust with the Minister commenting: "Over recent months, energy costs on world markets have been increasing and rising prices have impacted on the competitiveness of Northern Ireland companies.

"This new guide is a useful tool in helping businesses buy and use natural gas more efficiently. It highlights the importance of seeking quotations from a number of energy suppliers and provides helpful information on how to negotiate with them," she said.

Noting that manufacturing companies in NI collectively use more than 1,000 gigawatt hours of natural gas every year - that produces more than 184,000 tonnes of Co2 annually and is estimated to cost around £30m - the Chief Executive of Manufacturing NI, Bryan Gray said: "Energy use is one of the most significant costs for the manufacturing industry in Northern Ireland.

"The cost of energy in the local market can make the difference between success and failure for a business.

"Competitive and stable energy costs are an absolute necessity in ensuring the cost base which manufacturing needs to help them compete globally.

"Northern Ireland needs manufacturing growth to help renew the local economy, restoring the growth we need to provide the jobs we need and pay for the better public services we deserve," he said, adding, "Manufacturing NI is a not-for-profit trade association which represents the interests of 500 local manufacturers across all sectors throughout Northern Ireland."

Significant

James Dunlop, Client Manager, Carbon Trust Northern Ireland also said: "The Carbon Trust recognises that manufacturing companies play a significant role in the Northern Ireland economy.

"We are working with Manufacturing Northern Ireland (MNI) to better understand and support the opportunities for energy, cost and carbon savings in the sector.

"Improved natural gas procurement and best use of natural gas will lead to cost savings and improved competitiveness for local manufacturers," he concluded, adding that The Carbon Trust receives funding from Government including the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Department of Transport, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and Invest Northern Ireland.

(BMcC)

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