By Jerom Bolt
The untimely increase in the price of electricity puts in difficulty not only the budgets of household consumers but also those of large industrial producers. One of them, ALRO Slatina (one of the largest producers in Europe) announced that it will reduce its production by over 30% due to the electricity tariffs demanded by the suppliers on the market.
Under these conditions, the Minister of Energy, Virgil Popescu, had a meeting with the representatives of the Alro union and assured them that he will support the resumption of production at the aluminum production plant.
“Alro Slatina will have my support! Today I had a meeting with the union leaders to convey that I will support the production “, wrote Virgil Popescu on Facebook, according to Agerpres.
The Minister of Energy stressed that the Government will ensure long-term predictability of energy prices for industrial consumers.
“At the same time, together with my colleagues from the Government, at the end of 2021, we modified the legislative framework regarding the possibility of concluding bilateral stock exchange and over-the-counter contracts. We also informed that the state-owned companies have the obligation to sell at least 40% of the electricity production outside the DAM, ID and balancing markets so that there will be energy available for industrial consumers. In addition, we will ensure long-term price predictability. We do not leave anyone behind “, added Virgil Popescu.
The unions within SC Alro SA announced protest actions for Thursday in the context of the situation created against the background of the increase of energy and natural gas prices.
Alro announced at the end of last year, in a statement sent to the Bucharest Stock Exchange, that it will reduce its primary aluminum production activity in 2022, due to the situation on the energy and gas markets, but will implement technological measures to allow a quick and efficient restart when energy sector conditions return to normal.
“The company announces to investors and the interested public that, in the context of the exceptional situation on the energy and gas markets, the Board of Directors adopted, in the meeting of December 27, 2021, the production program for 2022. The production program is based on several economic principles. such as preserving liquidity, fulfilling all the obligations assumed by the company, including timely payment of salaries, taxes and fees and debt service for committed loans, and the adoption of a business model that aims on the one hand to reduce dependency on electricity, and on the other hand to maintain the product portfolio as much as possible, except for the unprofitable ones or with a very small profit margin ”, the document states.
In this sense, the production activity of primary aluminum will be reduced, from five electrolysis halls to two halls, with the implementation of technological measures that will allow a quick and efficient restart when the conditions in the energy markets return to normal.
In terms of the product portfolio, the company intends to maintain or even increase the portfolio of processed products and reduce the portfolio of primary products, so that a balanced and efficient production mix results.
According to the company, in 2022, measures will be implemented to reduce costs and streamline the activity, and the quantities of primary metal that will no longer be produced will be partially offset by recycled metal or primary metal purchased from third parties.
By Jerom Bolt