May 10, 2021

“Another nail in the coffin of the industry”


Madrid

Updated:

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The Spanish industry considers that the National Fund for the Sustainability of the Electricity System (Fnsse), as the Government has proposed in order to transfer the cost of premiums to renewables, about 7,000 million euros a year, from the electricity bill to all energy companies, “it is another nail in the coffin” of the sector.

This is how Andrés Barceló, CEO of Unesid, the employer of steel, in a forum organized by Sedigás. He added that the implementation of this fund will suppose “a parafiscal figure that does not reduce energy costs by one euro, it simply distributes them.” Barceló stressed that this measure will have a “quite negative” impact on the steel sector, which is a large consumer of electricity and gas for its production process.

In this same sense, the general secretary of the Spanish Association of Ceramic Tile and Floor Manufacturers (Ascer), Alberto Echavarria, estimated that the fund, as stated, “sends a very bad and negative message” for any investment that can be directed to the Spanish industry and stated that it will be “a good blow to the profitability of the sector.” Thus, he asked the Government to be able to guarantee the sector to be able to “work in fair conditions” and not to “punish them with constant surcharges.”

The energy director at the Spanish Association of manufacturers of pulp, paper and cardboard (Aspapel), Isaac del Moral, warned that the industry “moves by economic signals”, so if these are negative in the end they have an effect.

Along the same lines, the president of the Association for a Competitive Industrial Gas (GasIndustrial), Verónica Rivière, considered that industries “could transfer their production to other countries where energy costs are lower” due to the burden that the bottom line for competitiveness may represent. “We are in a moment of health crisis that leads to an economic crisis, so the energy cost is vital for the industry and we must be very prudent and make a more in-depth analysis of any energy policy that may affect the industry”, said.

For his part, the Minister of Energy of the Spanish Federation of the Chemical Industry in Spain (Feique), Javier de Juan Rubio, asked that, as with the extra-peninsular costs, part of the costs included in the fund be transferred to the State Budgets. De Juan stressed that the objective of the fund proposed by the Government may be good, but warned that as it is proposed it would cause “the closure of many industries”, reports Ep.

Meanwhile, the general director of the Spanish Association of Cogeneration (Acogen), Javier Rodríguez, asked the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge to “place the industry at the top of its agenda” and not only aim to “attract investment” for a single sector such as renewables, which already it is “enormously attractive”.

Likewise, the general director of the Spanish Federation of Food and Beverage Industries (FIAB), Mauricio García de Quevedo, advocated to address the energy transition through collaboration, as well as to “provide legal certainty” and to “take into account industrial competitiveness.”

For his part, the president of Sedigas, Joan Batalla, defended “the need to redefine the design” of the renewable fund, since there are “elements that have been made clear that can be improved in the parliamentary procedure process.”

Finally, the Secretary General for Industry and SMEs, Raül Blanco, wanted to convey “an element of calm” for the industrial sector, since the draft law for the fund “is open to debate” in its processing.

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