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Europe Is Shutting Down
As the recession deepens in Europe, and as the price of natural gas continues to weigh on businesses, industrial facilities across Europe are doing what at one time would have been unthinkable: shutting down production entirely.
Most recently, glass manufacturer Duralex announced that it had completed the idling of its only furnace on November 1. This step had been announced back in September, and has finally finished.
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".
The lack of “zero risk” to idling the furnace means there is a possibility the furnace will be damaged and may not work properly when the time comes to restart it.
Such extreme measures by European industry highlight the brutal irony of the sanctions on Russian natural gas: in the long term, they are likely to succeed in crippling Russia’s energy sector (Gazprom has already seen gas exports plunge 43%), but there is a rising probability this will happen because of the damage done to Europe’s economy—if Europe is no longer able to buy Russian natural gas, for the most part Russia will be unable to sell natural gas with their current infrastructures.
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