ANCA DOICIN

  |  10.12.2014

Broken glass or plates means luck (for some producers)

The most important news from the glass industry came this year from Buzau, where supplying the windows for domestic automakers was resumed as a tradition in this region. This is the result of an investment of EUR 65 million (of which 18 million are state aid) made by the Turkish group Sisecam in a new production line in their Glasscorp plant from Buzau

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ANCA DOICIN

ANCA DOICIN

JURNALIST


Romanian-made cars now have Romanian-made glass

45 year ago, when Dacia-Pitesti started car production, it was quite natural to have a producer nearby for a bulky item like glass. So, Buzau (200 km away by Pitesti) has become a centre for the glass industry, being a supplier for all Romanian automakers. At the end of the ‘90s, the new Dacia by Renault gave up using domestic, glass step by step; the other producers quitted production altogether (of buses, off-road vehicles, tractors, trucks), so it looked like the end of the road for this industry in Buzau.


Actually, the old factory, Gerom Buzau, was continuing to produce windows for cars as spare parts, but its core business is now glass for construction (for example, glass walls). Obviously, there is a local know-how in Buzau regarding glass processing, and Glasscorp is a good example: established in 2005 – in the beginning only having Romanian holders – is now part of the global players in this field.


It might not be accidental that the Turkish investment from Buzau came in the year a state aid scheme was approved to help the big consumers pay less on energy bills and there were discussion to maintain the current price of domestically produced gas for at least 2 years.

 

When Brussels and Bucharest rediscover the old industry virtues

In October, the European Commission approved plans to reduce the contribution to the financing of renewable energy for certain companies active in sectors with particularly high electro-intensity and trade exposure. The beneficiaries will pay 85%, 60% or 40% less RES support if they demonstrate an electro-intensity of more than 20%, between 10% and 20%, or between 5% and 10%, respectively. The beneficiaries would also need to show that they respect some criteria: (1) do not record debts to the general consolidated budget of the state; (2) carry out energy audits and implement measures to improve their energy efficiency; (3) do not lay off more than 25% of employees and maintain activities in the European Economic Area; and (4) conclude partnerships with educational institutions in order to narrow the theory-practice gap, increase professional level and attract skilled personnel.

 

Just a brief history – since 2011, the producers of electricity from renewable energy sources (RES) have been receiving a specific number of green certificates, depending on the technology used, for each MWh produced and delivered to the grid. Electricity suppliers need to purchase a mandatory quota of green certificates and fully pass on the costs of green certificates to the final consumers.

 

Now, the green certificate reduction scheme will enter into force on 1 December 2014 and will expire on 31 December 2024. The yearly budget is estimated at around EUR 75 million with approximately 300 beneficiaries, from steel industry, glass, petrochemicals etc.

 

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