German states form ‘Stahlallianz’, demand safeguard extension

Representatives of the 11 German states home to steel mills met on Monday with federal economy minister Robert Habeck in Berlin to found a new national steel initiative.

The so-called ”Stahlallianz” intends to combine the common interests of the states, most of them represented by their minister presidents, in order to form one voice to the federal government. They are essentially asking the government for strong support for the domestic steel industry, in view of future investment prospects.

In its statement, the alliance highlights European safeguard measures against imports as a key theme. It asks the German government to advocate at EU level for an extension until mid-2026, “to prevent a diversion of trade routes that distorts competition”.

At the national level, the partner states address high costs for power and the resulting disadvantages in international competition. They approve the Berlin government’s decision to lower the electricity tax for manufacturing industries, but caution this is not sufficient. They maintain their demand, for example, for a stabilisation of grid fees and a period of bridge financing of electricity for power-intensive industries (see Kallanish passim).

Another main theme is the technical transition following last year’s court decision that blocked €60 billion ($66 billion) in reserve funds from the Covid period from being used to de-carbonise industrial processes. In that context, the alliance highlights the importance of medium-sized companies along the production chain, which must not be overlooked for public support. That point was earnestly addressed earlier by WSM, the federation of steel-using industries.

The alliance consists of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine Westphalia, Saarland, Saxony, Sachsen-Anhalt and Thuringia.

Christian Koehl Germany