Ferroglobe joins the industry production stoppages due to high electricity prices




The spectacular rise in electricity prices continues to put an industry in check for months that has already been under tension due to bottlenecks in raw materials and in maritime transport. Thus, electricity has been the culmination of a year that has left a bittersweet recovery despite the good data on industrial exports. A blow that is leaving a wound somewhat deeper than the damage to its margins, since since October some factories have been making stoppages to avoid an even worse 'blow'. After companies like Sidenor, ArcelorMittal or Fertiberia, now it adds Ferroglobe, a producer of silicon metal, which has announced that it will stop several of its furnaces due to the high cost of energy.

Specifically, the multinational will idle a furnace at the Sabón (La Coruña), and another at its facilities Boo (Cantabria). In addition, your CEO, Marco Levi, announced that they will reduce 25% of their activity in the Monsoon (Huesca) in which it will modulate production according to the volatility of energy prices.

With these measures, the 54% owned by the Villar Mir Group, aims to "minimize the impact of increased energy costs in Spain, while allowing us to meet our existing obligations with customers."

“During this unprecedented time in which energy prices in Spain have more than quadrupled in recent months, we are constantly looking for ways to minimize the impact. The ability to leverage our extensive asset footprint and technical expertise proves invaluable in countering this issue, ”the CEO concluded.

Electrointensives fight again

As with Ferroglobe, the Spanish industry has been denouncing an unsustainable situation for months. Especially in the case of electro-intensive sectors (steel, metallurgy ...), for which light represents, in normal times, 60% of their operating costs. Now that percentage, they denounce, already reaches 75%. So they warn that in 2022 factory closures could be the order of the day.

Within this framework, the electrointensive companies have once again asked the Government for shock measures, in the face of a situation "that puts their survival in check," according to the Association of Companies with High Energy Consumption (AEGE). In a manifesto that has been joined by autonomous communities, social agents, chambers of commerce, town councils and associations of industrial companies, AEGE claims that given the scarcity of competitive contract offers from electricity companies, “measures should be urgently adopted to safeguard competitiveness and the future of productive activities and of the millions of jobs that we generate in our country ”.

In the first place, they ask the Executive to resume talks with the electricity companies so that they fulfill their commitment to present competitive offers to the industry, at prices prior to the energy crisis "and therefore not linked to the gas escalation." This petition has already opened a battle between the electrointensive and electricity companies, with verbal exchanges between the president of Sidenor and AEGE, Fernando Soto, and the president of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán.

The petition is not limited to this point. Added to this is the elimination of the 7% tax on electricity and, as on other occasions, they also claim to make accessible, as of January 1, 2022, the renewable energy of the Recore (renewables, cogeneration and waste) price set in the regulations for consumers who purchase their energy on the market; in addition to creating a new modality of ERTE associated with the situation of energy prices, for those companies that are compromised by these increases.

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