26 Sep 2023
The nationwide shortage of carbon dioxide will make goods more expensive and hurt New Zealand’s exporters, National’s Energy and Resources spokesperson Stuart Smith says.
“CO2 is widely used in the manufacturing of goods and the transport of perishable products by both importers and exporters.
“When the Refinery at Marsden Point closed, the Minister of Energy and Resources, Megan Woods, was told by officials that the domestic supply of CO2 would be significantly affected, with officials warning the Government should take action to secure supplies.
“We now have a scenario where New Zealand’s only other liquid CO2 plant in Taranaki has been closed for safety reasons, and domestic supply is becoming critical.
“Not only could the beer and fizzy drink sectors face further price increases, but as a nation that produces high-value perishable goods, we need dry-ice, which is made from CO2, to transport perishable goods around the country and overseas.
“Cherries and strawberries are in their peak season right now, but the shortage of CO2 could seriously damage an industry which has already struggled through the pandemic.
“Officials pointed out the warning signs when the Marsden Point Refinery closed, but the Labour Government has taken no actions to secure New Zealand’s supply of CO2.
“I have been contacted by both domestic producers of perishable goods, exporters and those in the freight industry warning that the supply of dry ice is already impacting business and the problem is likely to spread.
“Government inaction means that when Kiwis head to the check-out they will likely face higher prices for many goods, while exporters could face new challenges and costs to simply get their goods to market.”