Vallourec closures should alarm EU politicians

The announcement of a number of mill closures at pipemaker group Vallourec should be a wake-up call to policy-makers, a German industry insider finds.

Last week, the group announced it will discontinue production at, and eventually close down, facilities in France, Scotland and Germany. The move is especially macabre for the plants in Düsseldorf and nearby Mülheim, given that Düsseldorf will be the host next month of TUBE, the largest industry trade fair of its kind.

“The closure of the German plants must also be understood as a clear signal to politicians in Germany and Europe,” says Frank Harms, managing director of German steel tubes association WV Stahlrohre. He concedes that the reasons for the closure are manifold, and primarily economical. But he also sees a connection to “energy policy decisions taken only in the last weeks – keywords #CARBON LEAKAGE and #CBAM,” he writes in a commentary piece sent to Kallanish.

“Obviously, the market does not believe in the effectiveness of the current EU proposal on CO2 border taxation as compensation for the EU industry,” he states. “There is an urgent need for improvement here, to prevent a deindustrialisation of Europe,” he warns.

Christian Koehl Germany