UK glass faces gas crisis, says industry body

High gas prices, and the resulting high power prices, could destroy the UK“s glass manufacturing industry, David Workman of UK glass industry federation British Glass told a meeting of the UK Major E…

High gas prices, and the resulting high power prices, could destroy the UK“s glass manufacturing industry, David Workman of UK glass industry federation British Glass told a meeting of the UK Major Energy Users Council in Brussels on 18 October 2005. “We are already seeing movement of glass-making from the UK to the Far East, if we have the worst case scenario of rocketing gas prices due to a severe winter that is forecast this year, that would be the end of glass manufacturing in the UK,” said Workman. Other industrial users including Jeremy Nicholson of the UK Energy Intensive Users Group suggested that the six major UK gas suppliers were keeping prices on the forward curve artificially high and that industry was suffering as a consequence. He said gas was not only inflating power prices, but also emissions prices in the EU emissions trading scheme. “Everything comes back to gas. If we could crack that, we could solve all these problems.” Workman warned that the collapse of the glass industry could affect other sectors. “The increase in our energy costs, plus the higher cost of transport and the high cost of raw materials from energy intensive suppliers have wiped out our profits this year, and next year we“re heading into the red. It“s not just the glass industry that could be forced abroad but also industries we supply like packaging and the food and drink industries. They could relocate in Russia or Poland where gas prices are lower,” said Workman.