Lithuanian printing houses export a large part of their services abroad. However, according to Saulius Mudėnas, head of the printing house “KOPA”, due to the rising prices of energy resources, the increasing cost of printing products will make it difficult to find new foreign customers, which are being sought in order to compensate for the decrease in orders.
It is already estimated that the prices offered by Lithuanian printing houses are higher than those of Polish or Estonian companies – this has a negative impact on Lithuanian competitive advantage.
According to “KOPA” data, the company now has to pay 3.73 times more for electricity than last year. Many companies try to balance such a price jump by changing working hours or stopping production processes at times when energy is the most expensive.
According to S. Mudėnas, such saving measures are not suitable for a printing press working 24/7, as it would prevent the fulfillment of obligations to customers.
“Now we have no other option than to monitor the average price of electricity every month and adjust the cost prices accordingly,” S. Mudėnas said. – Solutions that help save resources have already been installed in our printing house. The building is energy class A, we heat it with heat pumps, we have automatic lights that turn off or dim when there is no person present. Thus, we no longer see savings reserves in this area, because most of the electricity is needed for printing equipment, without which essential work would not take place.”
The most expected state support is for solar power plants
The report states that at the end of August, the Lithuanian Printing Association (LISPA) met with the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Energy, Inga Žiliena. During it, it was discussed that no gas and electricity restrictions will be applied to printing houses, but neither should price guarantees or compensation payments be expected.
According to S. Mudėnas, in any case, the best support would not be payments, but support for the installation of solar power plants – this would help companies fix the price of electricity for 20 years.
“Today we see that the state did not have a proper strategy to take care of the development of green energy after the closure of the nuclear power plant. For this reason, now, without the ability to produce our own electricity, we all pay a high price,” said the head of the printing house. – We believe that the financing of solar power plants could be regulated in such a way that the solar power plants themselves would be sufficient as collateral. Business would gain a real guarantee of stability if a “ceiling” was introduced for electricity prices.”
S. Mudėnas added that the ongoing energy uncertainty will force Lithuanian printing companies to stop their investment plans, but they will try to avoid reducing employees at any cost, because preparing them for printing houses is a long and complicated process.
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