Energy-drenched aluminum puts European industry in jeopardy

Energy-drenched aluminum puts European industry in jeopardy
Energy-drenched aluminum puts European industry in jeopardy

Stopping production in clay furnaces is not an easy decision for entrepreneurs. As soon as the power supply is turned off, it takes many months before the operation starts again. However, Norsk Hydro, which is the sole owner of the Slovalco spillway in Iar nad Hron, is about to do just that.

The production of this metal is highly energetically difficult, which has not been a problem for the metallurgist until now. Due to the energy crisis, costs have increased, and the production of one ton of clay requires fifteen megawatt-hours of electricity, which is equal to the consumption of about five Czech households.

Clay is the stupid material of the future. It is used in many industries, in the food, chemical, transport, construction, automotive and aviation industries. Another plus is the possibility of its repeated recycling.

It’s not just a question of a strapped employee, on the shoulders of aluminum supplies for aircraft, weapons and a machine, said the Bloomberg agency Mark Hansen, f Concord Resouces, a company that trades in metals.

As production in Europe declines, hundreds of miners who specialize in turning this metal into parts for German cars or French planes look for sources elsewhere. Try to avoid buying from Russia, which is one of the largest importers of clay.

Only a few can get around the price ceiling

The production of this metal is energetically about one thousand and four times that of the production of copper, similar in tone and compared to steel. Bloomberg points out that less than five megawatt-hours are required for each ton of zinc produced.

Hlinki therefore put pressure on the governments to help them end the crisis. levies or ceiling prices for iron and steel, which have such a massive consumption, are, however, somewhat defensible for politicians in a situation where households are faced with enough subsidies for electricity and high prices for electricity.

European production of clay then fell to its lowest level since 1973. Experts estimate that suppliers used up a million tons of production capacity. Roughly a quarter of these are factories that will remain closed for good. Another five hundred thousand tons of capacity is at risk.

At current prices, the annual energy output of Slovalco alumina plant would reach two billion euros, according to Milan Vesel. That’s why the company stopped the activity. Resumption of operations, which may take up to a year, would be possible with a combination of cheaper energy and sufficient government support, Vesel told Bloomberg.

European Industry Std

Thus, European producers grow to be competitive on the market. This debilitating recording is the world’s largest supplier. Imports have a huge carbon footprint.

We need one quickly, otherwise there will be nothing here to save, to Paul Voss, general editor of European Aluminum, which represents the aluminum industry in Europe.

Someone has to do something if we don’t want to completely devastate European clay production. If Europe considers it a strategic metal, then they should have a guaranteed price for electronics, comments Vesel.

The article is in Czech

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