Carbon Dioxide Shortage Leaves Supermarket Shelves Empty

Soft drink shelves across supermarkets are bare due to a shortage of carbon dioxide (CO2). BOC, a major supplier, explained that the East Coast of Australia is experiencing a temporary CO2 supply shortage. The problem stems from disruptions in local CO2 sources and issues with international freight for imported CO2 products.

The duration of the shortage remains uncertain, leaving consumers puzzled about the disappearance of their favourite soda brands from Coles and Woolworths. Woolworths confirmed the shortage and assured customers that alternative options are available while they work to manage the impact.

Approximately 20 Woolworths brand soft drinks are affected by the CO2 shortage, while Coles is also grappling with dwindling supplies. Coles is actively collaborating with suppliers to mitigate the impact on customers and has increased the stock of alternative beverages.

Customers are being informed about the shortage through in-store signage at Coles, ensuring transparency. Air Liquide, a company specialising in industrial gases, including CO2, acknowledged a significant disruption in CO2 sourcing, particularly in New South Wales. This disruption arose due to planned maintenance shutdowns at source locations.

Although efforts have been made to minimise the impact on customers, the CO2 situation remains challenging. BOC is prioritising supplies for essential sectors like medical, safety, and water treatment. Additionally, they’re working closely with customers, CO2 suppliers, and industry stakeholders to address the issue.

To alleviate future shortages, BOC is constructing a new CO2 processing facility in Victoria, slated to be operational in the second half of 2024. This facility will have the capacity to produce 60,000 tonnes of beverage-grade liquid CO2 annually, ensuring a more stable supply for the market.

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