Warrenpoint Port in Co Down has clinched an €11m deal to import and store and distribute CO2 across Ireland, the gas used by pubs to pour stout, lager, and soft drinks, as well as by meat and food processors.
The plan has taken a major step forward after it signed an agreement with Nippon Gasses to provide CO2 for a facility with the capacity to store 2,500 tonnes of the gas.
The port said the storage facility is particularly important to secure supply for the Irish food and drinks industry and will cut down on the many truck movements through ports which currently carry the gas from Britain and continental Europe across the Irish Sea. During last summer’s heat wave some brewers in England reported temporary shortages of CO2 at pubs.
Fears of disruption to imports of the gas into Ireland have been heightened amid fears the UK could crash out of the EU without a deal. The plan by the port, located close to the M1 at Newry, long predate Brexit but the storage facility at Warrenpoint may assuage some concrens of shortages of the gas in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
“This investment by Nippon Gases is a major endorsement of Warrenpoint Port and recognises the benefits provided by our unique position equidistant between Belfast and Dublin that ideally places the harbour to facilitate the distribution of goods across the whole of Ireland,” said Clare Guinness, chief executive of the port.
“This facility will ensure we can continue to guarantee into the future food grade, completely traceable liquid carbon dioxide that Irish industry both North and South of the border desires,” said Gerard Dore, commercial manager at Nippon Gases.