Explosion takes fizz out of summer drinks

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Related tags: Carbon dioxide

As the long, hot summer continues, supplies of cider, cola and lemonade may be hit by a shortage of carbon dioxide (CO2) - the gas that makes drinks...

As the long, hot summer continues, supplies of cider, cola and lemonade may be hit by a shortage of carbon dioxide (CO2) - the gas that makes drinks fizzy.

Terra Nitrogen, the UK's biggest CO2 producer, has confirmed that production problems following an explosion at its plant in Billingham, Teeside on June 1 are likely to continue. Repairs at the plant are continuing, with production not expected to restart until the end of this month.

Terra produces CO2 as a by-product of fertiliser manufacture. The gas is then injected into carbonated drinks at high pressure, with the bubbles forming when the dissolved gas is released by opening the bottle or can.

On Friday, Magner's owner C&C said that the CO2 shortage had led to "some disruption to the supply of both soft drinks and cider" to customers in the UK and Ireland since late June. The company is now understood to be importing gas supplies from Poland.

Warm, sunny weather is forecast to continue across the UK for the rest of this week, generating continued demand for chilled, fizzy drinks.

Related topics: Wine, Cider