New Zealand Breweries Reeling From Major CO2 Shortage

, New Zealand Breweries Reeling From Major CO2 Shortage

Oxygen is beer’s enemy. It causes beer to deteriorate. Carbon dioxide is its protector. Brewers rely on CO2 to keep oxidation from ruining their beer. But due to the pandemic this important gas is now experiencing nationwide supply chain issues.

And now New Zealand breweries are at the mercy of CO2 rations as shortages continue up to hamper the country’s beer production.

According to reports, the rationing began following the closure of the country’s only food-grade CO2 production facility on the west coast of the North Island, forcing the country to divert what CO2 was available to medical situations before it can be offered to brewers.

Industrial gas producer BOC told reporters: “We are working collaboratively with suppliers, customers and other industry stakeholders to manage the CO2 supply situation.

In a statement Todd Energy, the CO2 provider that runs the recently closed facility, explained “that its abrupt closure was due to a plant safety issue which was being investigated.”

“The safe operation of the plant is our priority,” said Todd Energy chief executive Mark Macfarlane. “Unfortunately, that means the plant is temporarily closed while we work through engineering solutions.”

Prior to Todd Energy’s shutdown, CO2 supplies were already limited in New Zealand following the decommissioning of the country’s only refinery in April 2022.

And to make matters worse the demand for CO2 grew exponentially in 2022 and as a result the price of importing this important gas as s almost tripled according to Statistics New Zealand.

, New Zealand Breweries Reeling From Major CO2 Shortage

New Zealand Brewers Association executive director Dylan Firth told the Drinks Business  that “the beer industry in New Zealand was worth around US$1.8 billion) and yet had been having to ration for some time with many smaller brewers having limited stocks of C02 and others being forced to stop production due to the supply issues.”

Admitting that he was” facing soaring costs for imported CO2 that he couldn’t pass onto customers and had at times shut down production because of the shortages,” Steam Brewing managing director Steve Kermode called the situation “an absolute nightmare.”


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