LONDON (Reuters) - The British government set out plans on Thursday to help reduce electricity costs for energy intensive industries from next year to ensure they can remain internationally competitive.
The proposals would including exempting firms from certain costs linked to renewable energy obligations and capacity market costs, as well as exploring reductions on network charges paid by industrial users for electricity supply, the government said.
It said the support would benefit around 300 businesses in sectors such as steel, metals, chemicals and paper, employing around 400,000 skilled workers.
"This is carefully crafted support that will mean strategically-important UK industries like steel and chemicals remain competitive on the world stage," Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said in a statement.
The government said the measures, which it will consult on ahead of an expected roll out from Spring 2024, would bring the energy costs of Britain's energy intensive industries in line with those charged in the world's major economies.
Gareth Stace, Director General of industry body UK Steel, said British industrial energy prices had been uncompetitive for many years.
"We welcome this announcement and look forward to working with government to ensure full price parity with European competitors," he said. "It is essential we can compete on an equal footing, in the short term, within the fiercely competitive steel market, both in Europe and globally."
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Grant McCool)