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Open letter: CEOs of 40 European metal firms warn of an ‘existential threat’ to the industry

Open letter: CEOs of 40 European metal firms warn of an ‘existential threat’ to the industry
Jordan Major

The corporate leaders of Europe’s non-ferrous metals sector have sent an open letter written ahead of the emergency summit planned to take place on Friday, September 9, with energy ministers from across the bloc scheduled to meet.

Forty-seven CEOs of European metal firms have written to the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, to raise the alarm about Europe’s escalating energy crisis “existential threat” to the industry.

The European Commission, according to an earlier comment from Charles Michel, cannot wait until Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the Union address on September 14 to suggest answers to the cost of the energy problem.

In particular, the CEOs underline that the industry has already been compelled to make enormous reductions in production over the last year.

“We are deeply concerned that the winter ahead could deliver a decisive blow to many of our operations, and we call on EU and Member State leaders to take emergency action to preserve their strategic electricity-intensive industries and prevent permanent job losses.”

Letter points to worrying signs in the metal industry

Notably, the letter highlights that 50% of the EU’s aluminum and zinc capacity has been shut down due to the power crisis, severe cuts to silicon and ferroalloy production, and repercussions to the copper and nickel industries. 

Several enterprises have also announced extended closures in the past month, and many more are on edge as winter approaches. Meanwhile, electricity and gas expenses are ten times greater than last year, surpassing goods prices. 

The letter also urges European and national governments to consider all alternatives for protecting the enterprises and their future. The issue necessitates a comprehensive set of solutions and stresses that “no option should be left off the table in this unprecedented situation.”

Specifically, the CEOs want the European Council to take temporary action to address the excessive price of fossil fuel power generators, minimize the impact of extra carbon costs from the Emissions Trading System, and provide further support to companies, among other demands.

It is crucial that the European Commission avoids further regulatory burdens on suffering businesses at this critical moment, diversifies gas supply sources, and assesses possibilities for temporary solidarity measures to equalize the windfall gains in other specialized sectors during this crisis.

“The upcoming discussions on the electricity market and long term energy supply are important to the European non-ferrous metals industry and we intend to play an active role,” the letter stated.

 In Friday’s emergency meeting and beyond, the company’s call to the European Council to take fast and comprehensive action to solve the crisis.

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