According to the chemical industry association, the energy crisis has already led to a severe drop in production in the industry. “The situation is dramatic. Chemical production has fallen by ten percent since the beginning of the year,” said VCI Managing Director Wolfgang Große Entrup to the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” (RND).
At the beginning of July, the VCI was still expecting a 1.5 percent drop in production for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry this year, given the expensive but adequate supply of energy and raw materials. For the pure chemical business, the association had promised a minus of 4 percent.
The valley has not yet been reached, said Große Entrup. “As the energy crisis lasts, many companies are likely to lose their substance.” The VCI demands that the federal government’s program for reducing energy costs, with which it can support energy-intensive companies with state aid, be extended and changed. “In the current form, it is of no use to companies in the chemical parks in particular,” complained Große Entrup. The planned gas allocation must also be improved. In addition, the electricity tax must fall to the EU minimum.
According to the VCI, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry with more than 530,000 employees in Germany is the largest German gas consumer with a share of 15 percent. It needs gas as energy and as a raw material for further processing, for example in plastics, medicines and fertilizers.
The head of the mining, chemical and energy industrial union (IG BCE), Michael Vassiliadis, called for an extension of the short-time work regulation. “The federal government must also allow short-time work where high gas prices force production to be shut down,” he told RND. So far, short-time work induced by the market has not been allowed due to high prices and lack of profitability. “It can’t stay that way in this exceptional situation.”
Around three years after the start of construction, a new gas-fired power plant is scheduled to go on the electricity market this Friday. The operators emphasize the high efficiency and the contribution to security of supply.
The first results of the stress test announced by Robert Habeck are apparently there. According to one report, the continued operation of two nuclear power plants would have positive effects in two out of three scenarios. However, the ministry does not want to announce an official result yet.