French glass maker halts production as energy costs bite
France’s largest glass manufacturer, Duralex, has suspended operations for five months due to soaring electricity prices, the company's CEO Jose Luis LLacuna told the BFM TV channel on Wednesday.
“Our gas and electricity bills have risen from €3 to €13 million a year… The price of energy usually represents 5% to 7% of our turnover. Today, it is around 46%. It is not tenable,” LLacuna explained, adding that the company’s operation had become “nonviable” as it is unable to make a profit after such staggering outlays for energy, in addition to paying salaries and procuring raw materials.
He added that during the five-month closure, Duralex employees would continue to receive 95% of their salaries, 70% of which will be covered by the state.
The head of the company noted, however, that its warehouses are currently sufficiently stocked to survive the winter and not cause a shortage of its goods on the market.
Earlier, France’s largest aluminum smelter, Aluminium Dunkerque, said it would cut production by about 20% due to rising energy prices. Another glass manufacturer, Arc, also said it would lower output and move a number of employees to part-time work.
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