Swiss steelworks prepare for shorter hours as energy bills soar – paper

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ZURICH, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Swiss steelmaker Stahl Gerlafingen has won regulatory approval to cut staff working hours to cope with soaring energy bills that will cost in a month what they normally cost in a year, the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper reported. .

“High energy prices are threatening our existence,” CEO Alain Creteur was quoted by the newspaper as saying of the plant owned by Italian group Beltrame.

“It may be that no one has to go on short-time working. But it may also be that we have to send part of the workforce or all of the 560 employees home.”

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No one was available at the company on Sunday to comment on the report, which highlights the impact of the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Swiss government launched a voluntary campaign last week to urge consumers and businesses to conserve energy as looming winter shortages raise the possibility of worst-case rationing. Read more

The NZZ said a nationwide stress test was planned for this month to examine how large consumers would react to power rationing.

Monika Ruehl, head of business lobby Economiesuisse, cited estimates from the civil protection office last week that week-long energy shortages could lead to a potential economic impact of more than 100 billion Swiss francs (102 billion Swiss francs). of dollars).

($1 = 0.9804 Swiss francs)

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Reporting by Michael Shields Editing by David Goodman

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