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欧洲能源危机致碳酸短缺 德国啤酒厂商愁应对 German drinks makers suffer as energy crisis hits carbon dioxide supplies

中国日报网 2022-09-20 08:00




A shortage of carbon dioxide is causing German drinks manufacturers to cut production and warn of bankruptcies, in the latest sign of how Europe’s energy crisis is sending shockwaves through the region’s economy.

“More and more of the companies in the beverage industry that depend on the availability of CO? are having to significantly reduce their production or stop it altogether,” Holger Eichele, head of the German brewers’ association, told the Financial Times. “For many of the companies affected, this has dramatic consequences.”

Carbonic acid is urgently needed in the entire food industry for production and packaging processes. Carbonic acid is formed by the reaction of carbon dioxide and water. Breweries need them primarily to “preload” tanks, bottles and kegs so that the beer does not come into contact with air during filling and does not foam during bottling. Many breweries also produce non-alcoholic beverages, which require even more carbonation.

However, according to estimates by the Federal Association of the German Food Industry, only 30 to 40 percent of the usual CO2 delivery quantities are currently available. The price of CO? has shot up to almost 3,500 per tonne from 100 per tonne a year ago.

The shortage of CO? — a byproduct of ammonia production — has been worsening for months as record gas prices prompt the fertilizer industry to reduce output.

The connection is: less fertilizer equals less carbon dioxide equals less carbonic acid.

Wholesale gas prices in Europe have fallen 44 percent from a record high last month but at 190 per megawatt hour they remain almost six times higher than a year ago.

This has prompted some energy-intensive manufacturers to cut output or even shut it down, causing a 2.3 percent drop in eurozone industrial production between June and July — its biggest monthly fall since the pandemic hit in 2020.

The managing director of the Augsburg brewery Riegele, Sebastian Priller, says that the situation has worsened significantly since the beginning of the summer. “We also assume that things will get worse rather than better.” As long as energy costs remain high or continue to rise, there will be a further shortage.

“And if the breweries run out of carbon dioxide, they can’t produce.” Planning is currently impossible. “The situation can change every week,” says Priller. “At the industry meetings, everyone asks: Where do you get your carbon dioxide from? Do you have another Source?”

The Aktienbrauerei Kaufbeuren has already restricted production. “We haven’t been making lemonade since last week,” says Managing Director Gottfried Csauth. “Because lemonade needs a lot of carbonic acid and we only had small amounts, there was no other way.”
Aktienbrauerei Kaufbeuren公司已经限制生产,该公司总经理戈特弗里德·科萨特说:“从上周开始,我们就停止生产柠檬水了。因为柠檬水需要大量的碳酸,而我们的碳酸原料非常有限,所以我们别无选择。”


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