This is old news. It's not decent beer that's affected anyway, just the fizzy crap. I did hear that Norway was sending CO2 over.
It's not just **** beer, it's carbonated drinks, crumpets and chicken and pork, apparently CO2 is used to stun them in the abattoir.
For all the talk of rationing I've not seen any.
Maybe people will start drinking proper beer.
It looked as though the CO2 drought was over as three of the UK’s six suppliers went back into production – only for one of them, at Ince in Cheshire, to stop again after a fire caused a power cut.
The problem has been caused by a perfect storm in the CO2 production sector.
The gas is a by-product in ammonia and ethanol plants but summer is the quietest period in the calendar, so they tend to shut down for vital maintenance work.
Producers of ammonia, the critical element in fertilisers, are busiest in the winter, preparing to see farmers through the spring growing season.
But this year, the summer shutdown coincided with a spike in demand from the food and, particularly, drinks industry.
Yesterday, I went behind the scenes at the Ensus CO2 plant on Teesside’s Wilton petrochemical site.
The 100-strong workforce have been going flat out to make sure fans will have a pint in hand for the rest of the World Cup.
The plant shut down for 21 days in June for what bosses call its annual MOT, a total overhaul of the site, which looks like something from Blade Runner.
Workers in hard hats and blue and grey uniforms navigate the plant’s one-way system on tricycles, which chiefs say are the quickest, greenest way.
The magic happens in eight gigantic fermentors, huge silver silos that tower on the edge of the seaside town of Redcar.
Ensus primarily produces ethanol, setting up the plant in 2010 in anticipation of a new green fuel ruling from the Government that is still yet to be passed.
Its secondary product is protein-rich animal feed and thirdly – but for now most importantly – CO2 at a rate of 500 tonnes a day.
Ironically, in view of a looming beer crisis, the CO2 is created in an industrial-scale brewing process that results in the ethanol.
Grain is delivered and fermented to produce the alcohol, which is piped under the River Tees to a processing plant in Billingham.
The CO2 that creates is piped to the edge of the site and collected in two huge containers and liquefied to be taken to food and drink producers.
Ensus commercial director Grant Pearson said they could produce an endless supply of CO2 if the Government delivered on a 2009 pledge to bring in greener petrol.
All EU member states signed up to the Renewable Energy Directive, which requires 10% of road transport energy to be from renewable sources by 2020. France brought in the change in 2010 and Finland and Germany in 2012.
If the fuel directive were brought in, Ensus could expect to double production of ethanol, an essential addition to E10 petrol, and create a permanent CO2 supply.
Grant said: “Our plant was built in 2010 with the expectation that the demand for our main product, ethanol, would surge with the introduction of E10. But eight years later it still hasn’t arrived.
“It means the plant is ticking over but we’re still at risk if the demand reduces. We’ve been only too eager to help get the CO2 supply running again but we’d like the Government to help us by catching up with Europe and bringing in the greener fuel directive.”
The site was a hive of industry yesterday but it’s still a race against time to make sure the country doesn’t go thirsty in what could be England’s finest hour.
But British Beer and Pub association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said drinkers shouldn’t worry. She said: “Our message is clear: keep calm and carry on going to the pub. If your usual beer of choice isn’t available, why not try something new?”