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WA gas shortage effects winemakers

Margaret River Wine Association chairperson Peter Wood says there is concern about the recent gas shortage on wine bottling for this year’s winemakers.

“There haven’t been any reports to MRWIA of people being inconvenienced, but no doubt it’s going to become an issue in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

“We’re monitoring at this stage.

“(Bottling) is essential to finish the winemaking process.”

Portavin Integrated Wine Services, one of the State’s largest wine bottling contractors, said they were “nervous” but at this stage managing to deal with shortages.

General manager Gerlinde Watson said they were more concerned about a shortage of carbon dioxide than gas.

As a result of the explosion at the Apache Plant, BOC Gases Australia ceased production of CO2. “So far we’re getting normal deliveries (of gas),” Ms Watson said.

Their forklifts run on LPG but can also be operated with petrol.

Heating water for sterilisation does not require much gas, but the shortage of CO2 means they are looking at using nitrogen and argon instead.

“We can operate at a slightly higher cost,” Ms Watson said.

Leeuwin Estate has also rationed CO2.

The full article can be read here



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