Duralex put its only furnace on standby this Tuesday, November 1 due to the increasing energy prices.
The furnace, located in La Chapelle-Mesmin, in the Loiret, France will remain on standby for at least five months.
José Luis Llacuna, President of Duralex, said: “The price of energy usually represents 5% to 7% of our turnover. Today, it is around 40%. It is not tenable.”
The company said its energy bill had gone from €3 million euros last year to €12 million this year.
"Since 2021, the price of electricity has been multiplied by 22, and that of gas by 18," said Mr Llacuna. “Duralex therefore believes that stopping production is the only solution to preserve the future of the company.”
Duralex announced the site’s standby at the beginning of September.
The time between the announcement and its implementation is explained by the complexity of the operation: in theory, a glass furnace never stops at the risk of being damaged.
"The oven will not be stopped purely and simply, but we will keep it at temperature so that we can restart it,” said Mr Llacuna.
However, he said that "zero risk does not exist in this area".
This decision will have consequences for the 250 employees of Duralex, with the implementation of partial unemployment measures.
The employees are all on partial unemployment, and their compensation is set at 95% of their salary thanks to the contribution of the State.
As the company now has sufficient and quality stocks, it believes that it can continue its commercial activity normally during this period and thus continue to serve its customers satisfactorily.
Therefore, the site will continue to operate, with full activity resuming next year.
"We have a tariff cover already contracted on electricity, which will allow production to resume in the second quarter of 2023,” said Mr Llacuna.
The other company in the French Glass House group, Pyrex, is not currently affected by the production restriction measures.