Home » Murano turns off the glassworks: it is too expensive to keep the ovens on

Murano turns off the glassworks: it is too expensive to keep the ovens on

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Murano turns off the glassworks: it is too expensive to keep the ovens on

Lthe August truce is about to end: many companies have used it to stop and do maintenance, but now the hardest choice is how – and especially if – to restart the business.

The Murano glass factories that own one or more furnaces know that, once lit, the furnace must be maintained: “To reach temperature – explains Cristiano Ferro, owner of Effetre, the only producer of semi-finished glass products on the island – it takes about two weeks. . A company like ours uses 160-170 thousand cubic meters of gas per month. It reaches one million a year. We paid it between 18 and 23 cents per cubic meter and it already seemed to us a considerable fluctuation. Then the run-up of prices started ».

Fixed rates in maybe

In June 2021 the first increases, in November it reached 80 cents, in July 1.92 euros. And the prospect is that, with the supply contracts for renewal, the suppliers decide not to propose more fixed rates: «In this way it becomes impossible to plan. Small managers have disappeared from the horizon, the big ones have to guarantee domestic consumption and are struggling even with old customers with high consumption. The choice is between presenting bank guarantees or the advance payment of a few months: just think that in July we paid 298 thousand euros. Not only that: those who remain without a supplier switch to the self-protection regime, but only if they do not have their own transformer cabin, so in theory they can run dry. If he then switches to self-protection anyway, the choice to subsequently change supplier can involve a practice with uncertain times that can lead to a stop of weeks, incompatible with this kind of activity. All while the prospects are worsening and we are moving towards new increases ».

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This is why the solution, often, is to remain still. In recent months, the Veneto Region was the first to decide to intervene with a tender, last November, of three million non-repayable funds. Then came the Government measure: an allocation, by the Ministry of Economic Development, of five million for Murano artistic glass in the form of non-repayable grants intended to reduce the costs of gas and electricity bills for 2022.

Non-repayable contributions overdue

However, many companies report that the cash in hand is slow in arriving. Lorenzo Ferro is a craftsman, he produces glass bas-reliefs for furniture: “I buy semi-finished glass: it is clear that the supplier who undergoes the increases then unloads part of the increases on companies like mine,” he says. The paradox is that there is no shortage of work, on the contrary: in addition to the Italian market, new requests are arriving, even from Japan. Also thanks to initiatives such as the “Venice Original” virtual showcase, the project wanted by the Cna Metropolitana of Venice and developed with the contribution of Jp Morgan, sponsored by the Municipality and the Chamber of Commerce, to promote and relaunch Venetian craftsmanship, which has already been hit hard first from the high water of 2019 and then from the pandemic.

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