Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime, Senza categoria

Blocco europeo. Le fonderie dello alluminio chiudono i battenti. von der Leyen.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-09-09.

2022-09-06__ von der Leyen Alluminio 001

Alluminio. Agosto21. Prezzi saliti a 2,619 Usd per tonnellata.

EU aumenta i dazi sull’alluminio cinese.

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Nel settore dell’alluminio, la chiusura di uno smelter è una decisione angosciante. Una volta che l’energia viene abbassata e le pentole di produzione tornano a temperatura ambiente, potrebbero essere necessari molti mesi e decine di milioni di dollari per riportarle in funzione. Eppure la Norsk Hydro ASA si sta preparando questo mese a fare proprio questo in un enorme impianto in Slovacchia.

Il metallo – utilizzato in un’enorme varietà di prodotti, dai telai delle automobili alle lattine di bibite, fino ai missili balistici – viene prodotto riscaldando materiali crudi fino a farli sciogliere, per poi far passare una corrente elettrica attraverso il crogiolo, il che lo rende un processo ad alta intensità energetica. Una tonnellata di alluminio richiede circa 15 megawattora di energia elettrica, sufficiente per alimentare 5 proprietà in Germania per un anno. Alcuni consumatori stanno inoltre cercando di tenersi alla larga dal metallo proveniente dalla Russia, che spesso è un enorme fornitore dell’Europa.

I problemi del settore dell’alluminio sono un esempio emblematico di ciò che sta accadendo nelle industrie europee ad alta intensità energetica: in tutto il continente, i produttori di fertilizzanti, le fabbriche di cemento, i mulini di metallo e le fonderie di zinco stanno chiudendo piuttosto che pagare costi esorbitanti per il carburante e l’energia elettrica. L’aspetto più preoccupante per il settore manifatturiero dell’area è che non si tratta solo di chiudere per l’inverno. Anche i costi dell’energia elettrica per il 2024 e il 2025 sono aumentati.

Anche i produttori di altri metalli, come lo zinco e il rame, stanno soffrendo molto, ma le enormi quantità di energia necessarie per produrre l’alluminio hanno reso il settore particolarmente poco redditizio. In Germania, l’energia necessaria per produrre una tonnellata di alluminio avrebbe avuto un prezzo di circa 4,200 dollari sul mercato spot venerdì, dopo aver superato i 10,000 dollari il mese scorso, secondo i calcoli di Bloomberg. Il valore dei futures del London Metal Exchange era di circa 2,300 dollari la tonnellata venerdì. Ciò significa che le riduzioni sembrano destinate ad accelerare nel corso dell’inverno.

L’Europa ha già perso circa 1 milione di tonnellate della sua capacità produttiva annuale di alluminio e Patel ha detto di aspettarsi che circa il 25% di questa capacità possa essere completamente ridotta. Altre 500,000 tonnellate sono altamente vulnerabili alla chiusura.

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«In the aluminum trade, closing a smelter is an agonizing determination. Once energy is lower and the manufacturing “pots” settle again to room temperature, it might take many months and tens of tens of millions of {dollars} to carry them again on-line. Yet Norsk Hydro ASA is getting ready this month to do precisely that at an enormous plant in Slovakia.»

«The metallic — used in an enormous vary of merchandise, from automobile frames and soda cans to ballistic missiles — is produced by heating uncooked supplies till they dissolve, after which working an electrical present by means of the pot, making it massively energy intensive. One ton of aluminum requires about 15 megawatt-hours of electrical energy, sufficient to energy 5 properties in Germany for a yr. Some consumers are additionally attempting to keep away from metallic from Russia, which is often an enormous provider to Europe.»

«The woes of the aluminum sector supply a putting instance of what is taking part in out in Europe’s energy-intensive industries: throughout the continent, fertilizer makers, cement vegetation, metal mills and zinc smelters are additionally shutting down quite than pay eye-watering costs for fuel and electrical energy. Most worryingly for the area’s manufacturing sector: it could not merely be a case of shutting for the winter. Power costs for 2024 and 2025 have additionally soared»

«Producers of different metals like zinc and copper are hurting badly too, however the huge quantities of energy wanted to make aluminum have made the sector notably unprofitable. In Germany, the ability wanted to provide a ton of aluminum would have price roughly $4,200 in the spot market on Friday after topping greater than $10,000 final month, in accordance with Bloomberg calculations. The London Metal Exchange futures worth was round $2,300 a ton on Friday. That means curtailments look set to speed up over the winter.»

«Europe has already misplaced about 1 million tons of its annual aluminum manufacturing capability, and Patel mentioned he expects that about 25% of that could be curtailed completely. Another 500,000 tons is “highly vulnerable” to closure»

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Smelters Feeding Europe’s Factories Face an Existential Crisis

(Bloomberg) — In the aluminum trade, closing a smelter is an agonizing determination. Once energy is lower and the manufacturing “pots” settle again to room temperature, it might take many months and tens of tens of millions of {dollars} to carry them again on-line.

Yet Norsk Hydro ASA is getting ready this month to do precisely that at an enormous plant in Slovakia. And it’s not the one one — European manufacturing has dropped to the bottom ranges for the reason that Nineteen Seventies and trade insiders say the escalating vitality disaster is now threatening to create an extinction occasion throughout massive swathes of the area’s aluminum manufacturing.

The rationalization lies in aluminum’s nickname: “congealed electricity.” The metallic — used in an enormous vary of merchandise, from automobile frames and soda cans to ballistic missiles — is produced by heating uncooked supplies till they dissolve, after which working an electrical present by means of the pot, making it massively energy intensive. One ton of aluminum requires about 15 megawatt-hours of electrical energy, sufficient to energy 5 properties in Germany for a yr.

Some smelters are protected by authorities subsidies, long-term electrical energy offers or entry to their very own renewable energy, however the remainder face an unsure future.

As manufacturing drops, the tons of of European producers that flip metallic into components for German vehicles or French airplanes are left more and more reliant on imports that would get costlier. Some consumers are additionally attempting to keep away from metallic from Russia, which is often an enormous provider to Europe.

“History has proven, once aluminum smelters go away, they don’t come back,” mentioned Mark Hansen, chief government of metals buying and selling home Concord Resources Ltd. “There is an argument which extends beyond employment: this is an important base metal commodity, it goes into aircraft, weapons, transport and machinery.”

The trade says it urgently wants authorities assist to outlive. However, any measures like mounted worth caps to maintain power-hungry vegetation working could also be troublesome to justify whereas customers face hovering energy payments and the specter of rationing and blackouts looms.

The woes of the aluminum sector supply a putting instance of what is taking part in out in Europe’s energy-intensive industries: throughout the continent, fertilizer makers, cement vegetation, metal mills and zinc smelters are additionally shutting down quite than pay eye-watering costs for fuel and electrical energy.

Most worryingly for the area’s manufacturing sector: it could not merely be a case of shutting for the winter. Power costs for 2024 and 2025 have additionally soared, threatening the long-term viability of many industries.

At latest market costs, the annual energy invoice for the Slovalco smelter could be round two billion euros, in accordance with Chief Executive Officer Milan Vesely. Slovalco determined to mothball the plant because of a mix of surging vitality costs and a scarcity of emissions compensation that’s out there to smelters elsewhere in the bloc.

Restarting the plant — which may take as much as a yr — will solely be attainable by means of some mixture of cheaper energy, a pointy rise in aluminum costs, and extra authorities assist, Vesely mentioned in an interview this week on the web site.

“This is a genuine existential crisis,” mentioned Paul Voss, director-general of European Aluminium, which represents the area’s largest producers and processors. “We really need to sort something quite quickly, otherwise there will be nothing left to fix.”

Combined with import tariffs that Europe’s struggling producers have fought exhausting to place in place, the rising price of vitality may go away producers dealing with an more and more massive premium over prevailing worldwide costs in order to safe provide, in an additional blow to Europe’s aggressive standing in the worldwide industrial financial system.

“There will be nothing left to fix”

Producers of different metals like zinc and copper are hurting badly too, however the huge quantities of energy wanted to make aluminum have made the sector notably unprofitable.

In Germany, the ability wanted to provide a ton of aluminum would have price roughly $4,200 in the spot market on Friday after topping greater than $10,000 final month, in accordance with Bloomberg calculations. The London Metal Exchange futures worth was round $2,300 a ton on Friday. That means curtailments look set to speed up over the winter.

“Whenever we get downturns in economic growth and smelter margins come under pressure, we see European smelters shutting a decent portion of capacity,” mentioned Uday Patel, senior analysis supervisor at Wood Mackenzie. “When things improve, there are some smelters that never come back online.”

Wood Mackenzie estimates that Europe has already misplaced about 1 million tons of its annual aluminum manufacturing capability, and Patel mentioned he expects that about 25% of that could be curtailed completely. Another 500,000 tons is “highly vulnerable” to closure, Wood Mackenzie estimates.

The curtailments have had little affect on aluminum costs, which have fallen by greater than 40% since a peak in March as merchants brace for a world stoop in demand that might be much more extreme.

But whereas Europe’s manufacturing losses account for about 1.5% of world provide, they may go away customers in Europe more and more reliant on imports that shall be costlier and carry a heavier carbon footprint.

Already, European producers are paying hefty supply charges to get aluminum shipped to native ports, and additional will increase may go away them in an more and more uncompetitive place relative to friends throughout Asia and the US.

The vitality disaster can also be rippling rapidly down the provision chain to firms that purchase aluminum from smelters and rework it into specialist merchandise used in every thing from vehicles to meals packaging.

They use important quantities of fuel in the method, and plenty of need to cross on their surging vitality prices by way of contractual surcharges that would bake in extra prices for producers for years to return.

“The smelter curtailments are only the tip of the iceberg, because you also have downstream players who are buying prime metal and transforming it into products for use in sectors like beverage cans and automotives,” mentioned Michel Van Hoey, a senior associate at McKinsey & Co. These firms have usually seen a ten-fold enhance in their vitality payments and “will not be able to fully pass on those costs without some degree of demand destruction or import substitution.”

At Slovalco, Vesely — who has labored on the firm since 1989 — is hopeful it will likely be in a position to reopen the plant as soon as vitality costs fall, however acknowledges the chance that it may stay offline for years.

“Something must be done if we don’t want to destroy European aluminum production,” he mentioned. “If Europe considers aluminum as a strategic metal, then aluminum plants should have guaranteed prices of electricity.”

Un pensiero riguardo “Blocco europeo. Le fonderie dello alluminio chiudono i battenti. von der Leyen.

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