Alro: Government’s measures to reduce energy costs, inefficient

Alro Slatina’s electricity bills are too high and the Government’s measures to lower this burden for industrial consumers have been inefficient so far, Marian Nastase, chairman of the aluminum producer’s Board of Directors, stated. “Postponing green certificates has not reduced the cost of bills because 1,000 MW in photovoltaic were commissioned last year. The market is overflowing with green certificates. We hope Minister Nita’s proposal (editor’s note – Constantin Nita, Minister Delegate for Energy) to cut back green certificate prices for industrial consumers by 85 percent will be implemented in time,” Nastase stated at the ZF Power Summit, as cited by Mediafax.
He added that Alro pays an average of USD 80 per MWh of electricity, while the average price in Germany is USD 46.6, in the U.S USD 36.7., and in France USD 59.6. Industrial electricity consumers have criticized the Government’s support of renewable energy production for a long time and they claim high energy prices could determine factories to relocate to other countries. Aluminum producers cannot transfer additional costs to clients because the price of aluminum is set by the metals stock exchange in London. “At present, because ecotaxes account for so much of our expenses, we are uncompetitive. We want taxes to be reasonably reduced. We must be supported in this respect. I am paying USD 300 per ton, ecotaxes included,” Nastase said further.
In turn, Bruno Ribo, General Manager at Arcelor Mital Galati, stated that current gas and electricity prices render Romania uncompetitive and the negative impact of these prices cannot be denied, even if large investments were made. “We must come back to the levels prior to 2009. Every component of the energy price has gone up. We need more time to adapt; we were not consulted and no impact study was conducted,” Ribo continued.   In his opinion, major gas consumers need the same period of transition to adjust to European prices before 2018 as household consumers. “Half the major consumer companies may shut down, resulting in 400,000 lost jobs, if gas prices continue to spike. Import prices are higher than European stock exchange prices,” he concluded.

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