German sheet formers fear insolvencies amid power costs

For more than half of Germany’s sheet forming processor companies, electricity contracts with their current suppliers may not continue into 2023.

According to a recent survey by the Sheet Metal Forming Industry Association (IBU), new contracts for 2023 are not in sight for over 50 of some 100 companies that took part in the poll.

The problem was recently brought up by IBU’s umbrella organisation, steel fabricators federation WSM, and its managing director Christian Vietmeyer. “Many of our member companies are not receiving any offers at all, not even regular customers of the utilities, and not even at sky-high prices,” Kallanish heard him say at the MBI Stahl Tag in Frankfurt last month. Utilities have some obligation to supply private households, but not to companies, Vietmeyer explained.

Two thirds of the companies surveyed by IBU see their existence being at risk due to prices for energy and other cost increases. IBU’s publication of the survey is therefore also a call to policymakers to realise the urgency of the situation.

“We need a secure energy supply at acceptable prices, and policymakers must now get specific with that very quickly,” says IBU managing director Bernhard Jacobs. Record prices and insecurity could drive more and more companies to less expensive foreign countries, and accelerate a deindustrialisation in Germany, Jacobs warns.

Christian Koehl Germany