Arvedi: Lower energy prices in northern Europe mean unfair competition

Thursday, 07 October 2021 15:32:16 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

The increase in the cost of energy is a hot topic for many steel companies, including Italy-based Arvedi Group, which is one of the main players in the production of flats from scrap. Accordingly, the high cost of energy dominated the press conference held by company founder Giovanni Arvedi and CEO Mario Caldonazzo during the 2021 edition of the Made in Steel exhibition held in Milan. "For many years, we have been asking the EU authorities for a European energy market and a price which is accessible to all countries in equal measure. The cost of energy is roughly double what northern European countries pay. This is unfair competition, and an unacceptable act of discrimination," said Arvedi. The founder of the group said he hopes the recent price hike will be temporary. The impact on steel production is worrying, he noted, adding, "The transformation of iron ore, coal and scrap needs electricity, which represents about 50 percent of the costs for melting." He went on to say that in the transformation sector the share is instead significantly lower, i.e., equal to 10 percent.

Mr. Arvedi went on to discuss the issue of scrap, a fundamental raw material for EAF-based steelmaking, underlining the need for trade protection. According to Arvedi, in 2023 there could be a regulation that, as already happens in China and Russia, curbs scrap exports from the EU. Company CEO Mario Caldonazzo commented, "Presumably next month we will receive from the European Commission the draft of a regulation for transboundary waste transport. It would be an environmental measure. It would be neither a ban nor a fiscal measure. It would require those who sell scrap to sell it to a buyer who adopts the same environmental standards as a European buyer."

For Arvedi, safeguarding the planet is "an unavoidable issue" and that is why the group will soon be able to announce the complete decarbonisation of Acciaieria Arvedi. Finally, Arvedi did not reveal any projects for Acciai Speciali Terni, the stainless steel company that it has recently won in a bidding process. This is because the closing of the operation will take another "three or four months" as Arvedi is waiting for the go-ahead from the supervisory board of ThyssenKrupp and, above all, that of the European antitrust body.

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