You may have heard some recent major news within the industry. Britain isn’t just suffering from a water shortage at the moment due to the high temperatures; we are also suffering from a carbon dioxide shortage due to factory closures. The summer season is also partly the reason for this lack of a hugely required and popular gas. Since the farmers don’t need as much fertiliser over the summer period, ammonia plants close down for essential works – this means many plants are currently shut which has had a knock-on effect in many sectors dependent on the gas.
Many are saying it’s simply a coincidence- how can so many plants and factories go under maintenance at once?
With panic over running out of ‘essentials’ such as beer and fizzy drinks*, the scandal has been in the headline spotlight. So just what do you need to know?
(*Don’t panic though as Irn Bru is unaffected! – Find out why below!)
Why Are We Running Out of CO2?
So just why are we running out of gas? As mentioned, believe it or not, too many factories have shut their doors at the same time all across Europe. Not only this, but natural gas prices have been at an unprecedented high, meaning production has been limited.
The fall in global ammonia prices does mean it has been cheaper for British fertiliser producers to buy ammonia from abroad instead of producing it here in the UK, however this is still a financial burden. With only one of the UK plants being operational, it is understandable that the demand is high.
Food and Drink Industry
The food and drink industry are seeing shortages of produce due to this – carbon dioxide is used for many things, from slaughtering farm animals, packaging foods, to carbonating fizzy drinks. Nine of the UKs largest poultry plants are being affected due to a critical shortage of the gas – a domino effect is evident with a possible 60% more being knocked out in days.
Hospitality chains such as Wetherspoons are also being affected. This well-known brand of pubs across the UK has over 1,000 properties and are even warning customers that supply of draught lager and fizzy drinks could be cut off within only a few days.
The food and drink industry are urging the government to take swift action. The British Poultry Council said that the shortage could have a huge effect on production and that much of the ‘farm to fork’ supply chain will also be affected.
One brand which is unaffected is Irn-Bru. A spokesman for AG Barr, owner of Scotland’s famous drink, said:
“We invested in additional CO2 storage last year, and have multiple supplier agreements in place, but are monitoring the supply position and production schedules closely to protect customer supply as much as possible”
Find out more here.
Warm Weather Effect
The warm weather we are all enjoying across the UK hasn’t helped the situation. We all love a cold beverage on a scorching day like today. The World Cup has also increased demand for drinks which rely on CO2, such as beer and fizzy drinks. Coca-Cola have even ‘temporarily paused’ some of their production due to the national shortage.
Carbon dioxide is also used to create dry ice when frozen food is being transported – you can see why the warm weather doesn’t help this!
Lack of Clarity
Many are saying that there is a lack of clarity to how long this shortage will last, but the industries which are being affected are urging the government to act – and act fast. It is said however that government officials are holding talks with industry representatives on Thursday to establish next steps on how to manage the CO2 shortage in the meantime.
BMPA deputy-director Fiona Steiger said:
“Supply is running out and it’s pretty tight for some people. We don’t know when supplies will be back up. We’ve been told it could be about a month.”
Many businesses are working closely with their customers to get the best result out of a bad situation. Heineken, among others, said they are working with customers to minimise disruption.
How Are Adams Gas Dealing With it?
Here at Adams Gas, we like to keep all of our customers happy. However, don’t be panicking if you are in the market for some CO2, as we are still managing to supply to all of our existing customers. While we can’t take on new customers just at the moment, we are more than willing to talk to potential customers once this tricky situation has improved.
Adams Gas supply everything from CO2 gas bottles for plant growth to paintball tanks. Simply get in touch to find out more about how this piece of news may affect your business. We would be more than happy to give further information and advice on how to deal with this frustrating situation.