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UPDATE 1-Power costs could force metal producers from Europe - Eurometaux

Mon, 27th Sep 2021 11:47

(Updates with response from European Commission)

LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Rising power prices could lead
to metal producers moving operations away from Europe and
undermine EU carbon-cutting plans, non-ferrous metals industry
association Eurometaux has warned the European Commission.

Governments across Europe are coming under pressure to help
curb soaring energy costs for companies and households caused by
a global surge in wholesale gas prices, as economies emerge
slowly from the coronavirus pandemic.

"Rising electricity prices have already led to curtailments
and could lead to further relocation of our sector outside
Europe if not addressed," said the letter from Eurometaux
addressed to Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy.

"We are also concerned that if electricity remains too
expensive, it will disincentivise industrial electrification as
a decarbonisation route, undermining the EU’s Green Deal
objectives."

The European Union is aiming to reduce net greenhouse gas
emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030 - a step towards "net
zero" emissions by 2050.

Non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, copper, nickel and
silicon are more electricity-intensive to produce than any other
material, said Eurometaux, whose members include Norsk Hydro
, Boliden, Eramet and Rio Tinto
, Umicore and Nyrstar.

"These metals will be required in higher volumes to supply
key Green Deal value chains such as batteries, electric
vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels and grid infrastructure."

The European Commission confirmed it had received the letter
and said it would reply in due course.

Nyrstar said last week it has cut zinc production at its
smelter in the Netherlands because of the rise in electricity
prices in Europe.
(Reporting by Pratima Desai; additional reporting by Kate
Abnett; Editing by Pravin Char and Bernadette Baum)

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