It has been almost two weeks since Russia first invaded Ukraine, creating stress on the global economy, sending prices on oil and energy to record highs and displacing more than 2 million Ukrainians, according to BBC. Glazing industry companies are also taking action. Some have suspended operations in Russia and continue to monitor the situation across the war-torn region.
REHAU Group, a global provider of door and window systems, extrusions and polymer solutions headquartered in Muri, Switzerland, announced the suspension of its operations in Russia and Belarus in light of the developing crisis. The company, which also operates in Ukraine, says in a press release that it “strongly condemn[s] the attack on Ukraine and its people … it is a war against humanity, the freedom of all of us and peace in Europe.”
REHAU says its priority is the safety of its colleagues and their families in Ukraine and those leaving the country. The company says it has been preparing possible contingency plans for some time and is offering concrete help in the form of:
- The emergency aid fund “Family for Families,” which has been endowed by the company to provide immediate assistance and to support reconstruction;
- A crisis task force, which coordinates support for its team and those fleeing Ukraine; and
- An account for donations from its 20,000 employees worldwide.
AGC Europe also released a statement expressing concern regarding the war on Ukraine and says it continues to monitor the situation closely.
“In Europe, including Russia, AGC engages mainly in the architectural and automotive glass business … Russia accounts for just under 10% of the European operations in terms of sales and slightly over 10% in terms of number of employees,” according to a press release.
The company says since its architectural and automotive glass products produced in Russia are sold mainly in that domestic market, it has not yet seen any impact of the economic sanctions.
However, the glass operations in Europe use natural gas as a fuel in the manufacturing
process, and if natural gas prices remain high, the earnings of this business may be affected, the company says.
German machinery company Grenzebach Group has taken considerable actions as the war continues.
“We have been implementing projects in Russia and Belarus for decades,” says Andrea Steigerwald, head of corporate marketing and communications. “Currently, a flat glass production plant was delivered to southern Russia at the end of 2021 and was to be installed [in] April. Until further notice, all deliveries and services will be suspended, and no new orders will be accepted.”
She also says the company is closely monitoring the situation and cannot determine what it means for Grenzebach Group, but expects no significant business will arise from Russia in the near future.
“We cannot complete the current orders there and … due to the exclusion from the SWIFT payment system, we will not receive final and partial payments even though services have already been provided … All projects that could be affected are currently stopped, being analyzed and re-evaluated,” she continues. Additionally, all employee travel to Russia, Belarus and all crisis regions is prohibited.
USGlass and USGNN™ continue to monitor the conflict in Ukraine closely. Stay tuned for updates as the story is constantly progressing.