Nippon Gases has taken note of the interim order in the short summary proceedings regarding the case with one of its customers. We are disappointed with the outcome, resulting in an interim order and believe the court did not adequately consider the exceptional and unforeseeable circumstances due to increased natural gas and electricity prices that had ended the availability and production of raw and purified CO2 . Partly for this reason,we have instructed our counsel to appeal against this interim order.
In the meantime, amidst particularly difficult circumstances, Nippon Gases continues to make every effort to find solutions for its customers within the exceptional and unforeseeable circumstances in order to continue supplying liquid CO2 and dry ice - crucial raw materials for many sectors.
Recently, several energy-intensive companies decided to scale back or temporarily suspend production. This includes producers of ammonia, of which raw-gas CO2 is an important residual product, thereby resulting in significant shortages of this raw material for the production of liquid CO2 and dry ice.
Our largest and most important supplier also recently decided to completely stop its ammonia production in the Netherlands with immediate effect due to high energy prices. Nippon Gases decided to immediately inform all its liquid CO2 and dry ice customers in Belgium, the Netherlands and France that, as a result, the security of supply of these gases was threatened.
To this day, this uncertainty still exists.
Out of a sense of social responsibility, and a drive to minimize the impact to its customers during a period of force majeure, Nippon Gases has been able to work out an exceptional arrangement with its raw-gas CO2 supplier whereby ammonia production and associated deliveries of raw-gas CO2 would nevertheless be restarted. This is possible, however, by passing through these temporary additional costs associated with ammonia production in the form of a temporary surcharge.
Nippon Gases believes that the court erred in failing to sufficiently take into account the fact that Nippon Gases did everything possible to devise a solution and mitigate the impact of this force majeure situation, allowing us to restart production of liquid CO2 .
Moreover, Nippon Gases has also given its entire customer base the freedom to accept, reject or be supplied by another supplier.
As a company, we still believe that we made the right choices from a legal, commercial and, above all, societal point of view to safeguard the supply of liquid CO2 and dry ice to our customers in a force majeure situation to the fullest extent possible, and therefore look forward with confidence to the future appeal ruling.
It goes without saying that neither our supplier, nor our customers, nor Nippon Gases are at the root of these problems, and we as an individual company have no control over the factors behind them. They are the result of extremely high natural gas prices that have a significant domino effect on many companies and products further down the value chain.
We also hope, of course, together with our customers, that prices on the energy markets will soon return to a level that would permit normal market operation, eliminate the surcharge and no longer jeopardize the security of supply of products such as liquid CO2 and dry ice. Meanwhile, we will continue to do our utmost to supply our customers including the pharmaceutical industry, slaughterhouses, chemical industry and, of course, the food and beverage industry to the best of our abilities.