Financial TimesFinancial Times

Surviving winter: How three factories are coping with Europe’s energy crisis

By Patricia Nilsson, Barney Jopson and Valentina Romei

21 Dec 2022 · 10 min read

Editor's Note

The FT follows the fortunes of three energy-intensive companies in Europe—a glassmaker, a tile factory and a chemical manufacturer—as they face a cold, dark and costly winter.

The pain of high gas prices has become ubiquitous across Europe this year. But for some companies the added costs are more than a management headache and a crusher of profit margins. They are an existential threat.

These companies are the continent’s energy intensive manufacturers, hot and grinding operations where annual energy bills can run into millions of euros. Temperature control for them involves not lowering the office thermostat but burning natural gas to generate the extreme heat that is a non-negotiable part of their production lines.

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