Carbon dioxide has become scarce and expensive in Europe. As a result, Sanpellegrino in northern Italy recently suspended mineral water and soda production for two days. Carbon dioxide is also scarce in Austria, confirmed the Association of the Food Industry in the Chamber of Commerce.
“Due to the scarce quantities, the costs for carbon dioxide have increased extremely recently,” said the WKÖ specialist association. The main reasons for the shortage are “above all the high energy prices, which some producers of carbon dioxide can no longer cope with and therefore reduce or shut down production”. Productions in which carbonic acid is produced as a by-product are also restricted due to the current situation. Carbonic acid is also produced as a by-product of agricultural products, for example in the production of fertilizers. Where available, it is also obtained as so-called ground source CO2.
Supply situation “tense, but secured”
Now “there is a shortage of the available quantities of carbonic acid on the market, which are used, for example, for the production of drinks in Austria. The supply situation with carbonic acid in this country is currently tense, but currently secured”. The companies in the domestic food and beverages industry are in constant contact with their carbon dioxide suppliers in order to sound out the situation and, if necessary, to react quickly.
“No shortage” in Upper Austria
So far there have been no reports from the industry of a carbon dioxide deficiency – not even from large manufacturers, said Florian Berger, Managing Director of the Austrian Brewery Association. “We see no immediate threat scenario.”
Other representatives of Upper Austrian breweries gave the all-clear in the “Volksblatt”. “We don’t have a lack of carbon dioxide,” said the Freistadt brewing community, Schlägl monastery brewery and Schloss Eggenberg brewery. Schlägl master brewer Reinhard Bayer justified this by saying that his brewery had installed a recovery system for the carbon dioxide produced during fermentation: “We invested in the system 30 years ago and are now happy about it.” The same applies to the Braucommune, which invested 700,000 euros in the expansion of such a system.