Assofermet seeks government intervention in rising electricity costs

Italian trade association Assofermet has asked the government to come up with urgent measures to combat the skyrocketing increases in costs of electricity and gas.

In a letter to authorities seen by Kallanish,the association voices its satisfaction over the government’s recent actions on the issue. However, there is an evident need to conceive structural measures to allow companies to plan for the future on a solid basis, Assofermet says. “The European Council failed to find an agreement on energy prices [in last week’s meeting]. We are confident that the executive led by Mario Draghi will succeed to implement measures as soon as possible that can permanently sort out the issue,” Assofermet says.

Italy is impacted by increased energy prices more harshly than other nations. The country’s energy price index, the so-called Prezzo Unico Nazionale PUN, stood on 20 December at €340/MWh ($384), up from €70/MWh only six months ago. The French value was €217/MWh on the same day, the Spanish figure was €200, the German index stood at €177, and the Scandinavian countries’ index was at €90.

Assofermet’s letter calls for a selective approach that avoids further increases that will compromise the steel value chain.

In a virtual presentation last week, Alfa Acciai chief executive Amato Stabiumi said he sees 2022 as “a question mark” due to the high cost of gas and electricity the company will have to face.

This year has been a better year compared to 2020 in terms of turnover and margins, but since October Italian steelmakers have had to pay an increase on electricity and gas prices of over 500% (see Kallanish 14 December). Italian longs producers and distributors have increased their prices significantly since electricity costs started to climb and forecast they will be strongly impacted in 2022.

Natalia Capra France