At the same time, the association appeals to member states to implement the regulation carefully – and warns urgently of the consequences of supply shortages for the industry.
The target is minus 15 percent by next spring: The European Commission has proposed a new legislative tool and a European gas demand reduction plan to make Europe significantly less dependent on Russian gas. The push is aimed as much at industry as it is at public authorities, households, owners of public buildings or energy suppliers.
The Commission’s paper stresses the need to exhaust ” all fuel substitution possibilities, non-mandatory savings schemes and alternative energy sources” before any cuts in gas supply occur.
Warning of dramatic consequences
European Aluminium has now explicitly welcomed the Commission’s plan in a position paper. “Compared to other raw materials and our international competitors, the European aluminium industry has been hit by the ongoing energy crisis particularly hard”, it says. “As an essential value chain to critical sectors such as medical and food packaging as well as technologies key to the greening of the electricity grid, it is of utmost importance that European aluminium can continue to supply our economy.”
The association points out that while the loss of European production capacity has already resulted in a 16 TWh/year drop in electricity demand – any further curtailment would have dramatic consequences. ” An abrupt supply shortage would stop our production processes and lead to the irreparable destruction of industrial equipment.”
Appeal to member states
Against this backdrop, European Aluminium is calling on member states to implement the newly adopted regulation carefully and take a balanced approach when reviewing their contingency plans. “Member States must consider that cutting off the supply of gas to the aluminium sector would have a significant economic impact on the whole value chain, including downstream sectors, but gas savings would be relatively low. The technical possibility for some operations to halt production is largely limited and depends on the size and configuration of the plant. Any interruption will impact production and have ripple effects further up and down the value chain.”