What leaves once, will not come again. While energy prices in Europe are going through the roof, they remain moderate in the USA. This will have serious consequences for energy-intensive industries.
The Wall Street Journal (paid article) is already rubbing its hands together for the US economy. It is twice beneficial: high prices for LNG exports and new jobs in the future. It’s Win/Win – Lose. One of the losers for Germany is Areclor-Mittal. Now they are turning down the first blast furnace. Here, too, the USA is profiting. The FAZ reports:
Arcelor-Mittal, the world’s largest steel producer, is shutting down two production facilities at the end of September due to high energy prices in Germany. “Until further notice,” one of the two blast furnaces at the plate steel site in Bremen will be shut down. And the direct reduction plant at the Hamburg long steel mill is also to be shut down. In addition to the already high costs for gas and electricity, the gas surcharge planned from October will place a further burden on the competitiveness of energy-intensive plants, it says in justification. ‘With a tenfold increase in gas and electricity prices, which we had to accept within a few months, we are no longer competitive in a market that is 25 percent supplied by imports,’ Germany CEO Reiner Blaschek is quoted as saying in a statement from Arcelor-Mittal.
In order to avoid gas consumption in Hamburg, the precursor iron is now being purchased from America in order to be able to continue production – more cheaply, but with a higher CO2 footprint. Reduced work hours is also being introduced at the production sites in Duisburg and Eisenhüttenstadt due to the difficult situation.”