Pilkington turns to oil as gas prices soar

Pilkington, Britain's leading glassmaker, has been forced to move from using gas to oil to run its UK operations because it could no longer afford to pay its enormous gas bill.

The news comes as investors wait for news on details of a possible bid by Nippon Sheet Glass, Pilkington's largest shareholder.No formal offer has yet been made and this weekend the Japanese company's executives flew back to Tokyo to discuss their options.

Pilkington's move to oil is the latest sign of how British industry is suffering under soaring gas prices. The recent drop in temperatures has pushed up the cost of natural gas, raising the day-ahead price from 36p per therm to 82p per therm.

David Workman, the director-general of the British Glass Manufacturers' Confederation, said his members were also operating at a competitive disadvantage to their rivals on the Continent. British manufacturers are paying around 50 per cent more for gas than their rivals on the Continent, and 30 per cent more for electricity.

With the Met Office forecasting a cold winter, concern has also been rising among industrial users that their energy supplies could be interrupted in the event of a severe cold snap. National Grid, the company that distributes gas throughout the UK, has the right to cut off the gas of industrial users to preserve supplies for domestic customers.

Jeremy Nicholson, the director of the Energy Intensive Users Group, said the group was planning to write to the Government to ask for some form of compensation system to be put in place in such an event.

The news comes as the CBI, the employers' federation, prepares to publish a report on the long-term needs of Britain's energy market.

600450 Pilkington turns to oil as gas prices soar glassonweb.com

See more news about:

Others also read

"Right product, right place" - this is the motto of the NSG Group's trade fair presence at BAU 2019.
At this year’s FENSTERBAU FRONTALE, Peter Schober, who heads the Department of Structural Engineering and the Windows Division of Holzforschung Austria (HFA) in Vienna, discussed his latest research in the area of “vacuum glass”.
Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, has launched Pilkington Optimirror™ Protect Plus, a new safety mirror that provides enhanced safety capability without the need for secondary processing.
Topglass has completed works on project Bon Secours for Nautic.
The Charnock Bradley Building is the centrepiece of the University of Edinburgh’s expanding Easter Bush Campus eight miles south of the city.
A bright future is ahead for glass, thanks to a serious focus on innovation, the environment, and sustainability, the industry’s annual prestige awards ceremony at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield heard. (Thurs 22 November).

From industry

Add new comment