The energy crisis, an “existential threat” to EU metals production – Eurometaux


High voltage power lines, an electricity pylon and wind turbines are seen near Pedrola, Spain, December 12, 2021. Picture taken December 12, 2021. REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

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LONDON, Sept 7 (Reuters) – The European Union must reduce electricity costs in the region to prevent the permanent closure of metal production plants in the region, which would increase the dependence on imports to higher carbon footprint, said industry association Eurometals.

Around 50% of the EU’s aluminum and zinc production capacity “has already been taken out of service due to the electricity crisis”, Eurometaux said in a letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Read more

EU ministers meet on September 9 to discuss urgent measures to respond to soaring gas and electricity prices that are hitting European industry after Russia limited gas supplies to the bloc. Read more

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Eurométaux wants EU to raise €50m threshold for aid EU countries can offer struggling companies, provide support by capping taxes and surcharges on electricity and gas and creates an EU emergency relief fund for energy-intensive industries.

Eurométaux said the energy crisis is an “existential threat to the future of European metal foundries.

“We call on EU and member state leaders to take urgent action to preserve their strategic electricity-intensive industries and prevent permanent job losses,” Eurométaux said, adding that the letter had was signed by the managing directors of 40 European companies.

Eurometaux has 26 member companies including Glencore (GLEN.L), Aurbubis (NAFG.DE), Boliden (BOL.ST) and Norsk Hydro (NHY.OL).

Production cuts in zinc, aluminum and silicon have already left consumers in Europe’s steel, automotive and construction industries facing severe shortages, which are being offset by shipments from China and by the way.

“Chinese production is 2.5 times more carbon intensive than European zinc production; 2.8 more in the case of aluminum and 3.8 more for silicon,” Eurométaux said.

“We estimate that imports of replacement aluminum into Europe have already added 6-12 million tonnes of CO2 this year.”

The industry body also wants the EU to ask member states to provide financial assistance through the carbon offset scheme.

The program allows national governments to provide compensation to energy-intensive industries to help them recoup some of the costs associated with the high carbon prices they have to pay as a result of the emissions trading system (ETS).

“Base metals, battery metals and other metals are all needed in higher volumes for European grid infrastructure, electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines and hydrogen electrolysers,” the company said. letter.

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Reporting by Pratima Desai; Editing by Nick Zieminski

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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