The head of energy trading at British Gas owner Centrica, Cassim Mangerah, told the Financial Times that some manufacturers might even end up curbing production to avoid high prices.
“If prices are really high then some gas-dependent businesses in the UK and Europe may simply decide not to produce,” he said.
Manufacturers have long complained about high energy prices making industry uncompetitive, with many moving abroad.
Gareth Stace, head of UK Steel, said: “There is simply no way that the sector can absorb additional price increases and remain competitive. We have been urging the Government for years to take action on energy prices and provide us with a level playing field to operate on.”
Amrik Bal, director of the Energy Intensive Users Group trade body, added: “Any price increases are of huge concern to our members – it makes us more uncompetitive.”
A spokesperson for the department for business, energy and industrial strategy said: “We have highly diverse sources of gas supply to ensure households, businesses and heavy industry get the energy they need at a fair price.
“The best way for consumers and businesses to keep energy bills down is to shop around for the cheapest tariffs on the market.”
The Government is also planning to extend the Warm Home Discount on energy bills and trial automatic switching for customers on default tariffs, to help them get a better tariff.