New Zealand Drink makers face decline in Production as CO2 Shortage Strikes

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New Zealand’s craft breweries and soda makers are under strain, with a shortage of carbon dioxide leaving their drinks un-fizzed.

A temporary shutdown of New Zealand’s only liquid carbon dioxide plant has prompted beer and soda makers to slash production at the height of summer, and warn of drink supplies drying up.

New Zealand’s only producer of food-grade CO2 paused operations in December due to a potential safety issue, according to reports. While the facility is due to resume production in early February, it will only produce 30% of pre-shutdown levels and will take months to return to full capacity.

CO2 is used to add fizz to carbonated drinks, to preserve and process numerous common food products, and for medical purposes. Shortages have caused global chaos in recent years, with New Zealand the latest country to face an abrupt and disruptive shortfall.

In 2021, the U.K. government intervened to curb the damage caused by CO2 shortages; that crisis prompted a government bailout of the largest supplier to the country. Britain was once again scrambling for CO2 imports in 2022, along with Germany and Italy, due to plant closures and cost increases blamed on soaring natural gas prices.

 

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