Natural Gas Prices Continue to Increase, Glass Companies Feel the
The cost of natural gas is continuing to increase and it shows
no signs of slowing. According to the Energy Information Administration's
(EIA) July 10 Natural Gas Weekly report, natural gas prices surpassed
historical norms, exceeding $11 per MMBtu at trading locations throughout
the lower 48 states, with the exception of Rocky Mountain market
centers. In addition, the EIA expects the high price of natural
gas to increase further by the end of the year and into 2009. Likewise,
the EIA reported that the amount of natural gas consumed for space
cooling was particularly high for June, which registered cooling
degree-days that were 23.5 percent above normal. For 2009 the EIA
expects residential and commercial sector consumption to be relatively
unchanged from this year, while natural gas consumption for electricity
generation is expected to increase by 3.2 percent.
Natural gas consumption on the industrial side is also expected
to increase. The EIA is projecting it to rise by 1.6 percent this
year and by 0.6 percent in 2009. With such high prices many companies,
including float glass produces, are feeling the impact.
"Natural gas is a significant part of our costs and we have
seen its price increasing steadily for months. This not only affects
our production costs, but we are seeing increasing costs from our
suppliers and vendors who are all implementing some type of energy
surcharge to help offset their increasing energy costs," says
Serge Martin, vice president of building products for AGC North
America. "Energy surcharges are also impacting our primary
glass customers as these costs continue to rise. Surcharges and
increased costs, however, will not solve these concerns. The industry
needs to continue to focus on more energy reduction and energy efficiency
initiatives to help reduce these impacts and correspondingly improve
HERE to read the EIA's Natural Gas Weekly report.
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