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Carlsberg’s Poland unit could stop production; lack of CO2 threatens food industry

GDANSK (Reuters) -Danish brewery Carlsberg’s subsidiary in Poland could cut or halt beer production due to a lack of carbon dioxide deliveries, that is becoming a problem for the food industry in the country.

“If deliveries of carbon dioxide (CO2) are not resumed, there will be a high probability of significant production cut or production halt,” spokeswoman for Carlsberg Polska Beata Ptaszyńska-Jedynak said on Thursday.

She explained that the beer industry uses carbon dioxide to keep oxygen out of beer, but that the lack of CO2 was hitting many other parts of the food industry which also uses it for refrigeration.

Carlsberg, which has three breweries in the country, is among Poland’s biggest brewers, with a market share of around 20% according to its annual report.

Heineken’s Polish subsidiary Grupa Zywiec said that it was analysing the situation and it was still too early to comment.

Poland’s third major beer producer, Kompania Piwowarska from the Asahi Group, said it was using technology to retrieve carbon dioxide during its production process and its output was unaffected.

Poland’s biggest chemicals firm Grupa Azoty said on Monday it was cutting production of some products due to soaring gas prices. Also on Monday PKN Orlen’s chemicals subsidiary Anwil said it was introducing temporary production halts.

Chemical makers produce CO2 as a byproduct that is used in various parts of the food industry.

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The CO2 delivery halt also poses a danger to the food security of the whole nation, said Andrzej Gantner, general secretary of Polish Federation of Food Industry.

“Truthfully, the halted deliveries of CO2, dry ice and nitric acid influence not only the beverage industry, but also the majority of key food production industries in Poland, among them ones as crucial as meat, dairy, processed fruits, and vegetables,” Gantner said.

Gantner also said that the Federation plans to ask the government on Friday to intervene and ensure that the production and delivery of resources crucial for the security of the food industry are resumed.

Poland’s government said on Tuesday it would prepare measures to intervene in the fertiliser market affected by soaring natural gas prices.

Representatives of Grupa Azoty and PKN Orlen’s subsidiary Anwil were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Karol Badohal and Mateusz Rabiega; Additional reporting by Marek Strzelecki; Editing by Susan Fenton and Nick Zieminski)


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