Strangled by the price of electricity, the European metallurgy is dying live

Strangled by the price of electricity, the European metallurgy is dying live

Strangled by the price of electricity, European metallurgy is dying live, and in deafening silence.

“European producers of aluminium, zinc and steel are reducing their production, including in France, in particular because of the cost of energy.

Aluminum Dunkerque is one of the largest aluminum producers in Europe. It has just announced a 22% reduction in its production, due to soaring energy costs.

Strange winds are blowing in European metallurgy. There has been much concern in recent years about a shortage of special metals – such as lithium or cobalt – needed for electric cars and renewable energies. But it may be more ordinary metals that are likely to cause other kinds of problems in Europe.

First of all, they concern steel. The giant ArcelorMittal announced, in recent days, several measures to reduce the production of its flat steels at seven sites in the north of France as well as at Fos-sur-Mer (Bouches-de-Rhône).

Already, in Dunkirk, only one of its blast furnaces is still producing, after one of the three was shut down this summer, as was already the third, for maintenance. The steelmaker has also announced the shutdown of three other blast furnaces in Germany, Spain and Poland.

Rare decisions, because the process of producing molten steel – with “continuous fires” – is, after a stoppage, long and complex to restart.

Another French steelmaker, Ascometal will interrupt its activity for two to three weeks, in December, in its factories in Moselle and Bouches-du-Rhône.

Half of European aluminum stopped
For non-ferrous metals (everything that is neither iron nor steel), it is essentially the soaring cost of electricity that has led 40 European producers to sound the alarm, in view of the Council of European Energy Ministers, which was held on Friday 9 September.

The producers of aluminum, zinc, copper, nickel or silicon say they are threatened in their very existence, “while they have already, over the past 12 months, made unprecedented reductions in activity”. Thus European aluminum production – which only covers half of the Union’s needs – has already been reduced by half, to less than one million tonnes, just like that of zinc. Europe must now import three-quarters of its consumption.

On September 6, Aluminum Dunkerque, the largest French producer of this metal (290,000 tonnes per year, double that of the other French plant, in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, in Savoie), announced a 22% reduction in production. »

So stop or again?

Even more industrial and economic destruction?

What’s going to happen ?

We are killing all European industry.

We will end up importing steel from China or India that will have been made with energy that India and China buy cheap from Russia…

So, if you think this is a brilliant result, well allow me to disagree.

It’s not strategy, it’s not politics.

It’s crass nonsense.

And if Europe was peace and prosperity, since it dreams of itself as an expanding power it has become war and misery, far from the European ideal of my youth.

Not only is another Europe possible, but above all, another Europe is desirable.

Charles SANNAT

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Source West-France here

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