Amid reports of a coronavirus-driven CO2 shortage in the US sparking concern about shortages of beer, soda and seltzer water, Messer today said it has started operation of a new CO2 plant in California.

Located in Keyes, the largest family-run industrial gases specialist worldwide said the plant provides up to 450 tonnes per day of CO2, which can be used in carbonated beverages, in food freezing and chilling and in the electronics industry.

Read more: CGA led coalition warns risk of CO2 shortage

Messer said the new plant will serve existing and new customers in northern California and surrounding geographies via rail network.

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Source: Messer

“This investment solidifies our position in the US market and it is especially important as the CO2 market faces supply challenges,” explained Jens Luehring, President and CEO of Messer Americas.

“We’re proud of our experienced team of experts who worked through unusual start-up conditions associated with the coronavirus pandemic to bring this plant on stream.”

Messer recently collaborated with Aemetis and obtains raw CO2 for processing from its ethanol plant.

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Source: Messer

“Aemetis is pleased to be supplying Messer with CO2 rawgas, especially in this time of critical need,” said Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis.

“It is essential that California’s supply of CO2 remain uninterrupted for the many industries that depend on this important product.”

Messer operates two additional CO2 plants and two air separation units in California.