Glass Alliance Europe, the European Alliance of Glass Industries has renewed its call for urgent and decisive actions at EU and national levels to support the glass industry and help it face the new European energy landscape.
It outlined its actions in an eight-point plan:
- Regarding continuous energy supplies, authorities should ensure that the criterion on irreversible damages to industrial installations is duly implemented in national contingency plans to prioritise supply of energy to continuous production processes, which cannot be stopped, such as the glass industry, and thus avoid the complete loss of industrial assets.
- To design and swiftly introduce urgent and decisive measures to curb energy costs for both natural gas and electricity for the energy intensive glass industry, in the short term. When it comes to gas, all possible mechanisms such as a price cap, a price corridor, a price brake or else, must be evaluated against their effectiveness in guaranteeing enough gas supplies, in lowering gas costs, in granting predictability over several years and in restoring the capacity of the European glass industry to be globally competitive.
- To provide immediate relief to companies throughout the glass value chains that are seriously injured by the on-going crisis. We take note of the amended Temporary Crisis Framework and draw the authorities’ attention to the need for this framework to be implemented in a flexible and efficient manner for support to be provided at the right time. We welcome the increase in the cap on financial support although it may remain too low for most energy-intensive branches of the glass industry. We also welcome the easing of qualification criteria with the revised criterion on EBITDA evolution. The aid’s conditionality to investments remains questionable and should not prevent necessary support from being granted.
- To facilitate fuel switching by allowing for greater flexibility under the local implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive rules to efficiently amend operational permits, when it comes to re-introducing heavy fuel oil for glass melting, as well as to reduce permitting time for biogas, in an attempt to reduce Europe’s dependence on natural gas and diversify energy sources.
- To support greater electrification of the glass industry by revising the Guidelines for certain aid for the compensation of indirect emissions under the EU ETS and make sure all glass sectors become eligible for compensation for their sky-rocketing electricity costs.
- To offer immediate relief on taxes and surcharges for electricity and gas to the European glass industry, as well as to preserve the exemption for mineralogical processes under the Energy Taxation Directive.
- To swiftly engage the reform meant to decouple electricity from gas prices and the reform of the energy market design and to involve glass industry experts in the reflection.
- To continue the trade defence measures on subsidised and dumped imports, where relevant, and to consider the rapid introduction of additional measures when new flows emerge. Because of the high energy prices in Europe, import volumes from historical importing countries are increasing, and new trade flows are emerging. These flows, if left unaddressed, could pose a serious threat to European production.