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Voerdal aluminium smelter closure announcement indicates creeping process of EU deindustrialisation


11 May 2012


Climate & Environment

Eurometaux regrets the recent closure announcement of the German Aluminium smelter Voerdal. It is another sad indicator of what is happening to the European industrial basis and high quality jobs when the costly unilateral European energy & climate policies are not improved to a global level playing field, and it is worsening the on-going crisis in Europe.

Eurometaux supports the following statement by our German federation WVM.

Statement (in English):

Insolvency proceedings – Voerde Aluminium GmbH

Industrial energy must be made available at competitive prices – Pending mitigation rules must at last be implemented

Berlin, 7 May 2012 – At today’s meeting of the WirtschaftsVereinigung Metalle (WVM) Board, Ulrich Grillo, Chairman of WVM, spoke of the future of metals production in the German industrial base.

The production of metals, particularly aluminium, is jeopardised by high energy prices that are no longer competitive at international level.

The insolvency proceedings initiated by Voerde Aluminium GmbH, the 3rd largest aluminium producer in Germany, are an indicator of the creeping process of deindustrialisation. They confirm the prognosis repeated time and time again by industry that it is absolutely imperative for the mitigation rules for the energy-intensive industry announced by Brussels and Berlin to be implemented without further delay.

Due to the good economic situation, there is a danger of overestimating industry’s ability to withstand the burden of state tax controls, and to already regard pending mitigation as having a positive effect.

The non-ferrous metals companies are awaiting a decision on compensation for demonstrated CO2 costs and for the shutdown regulation – both of which are still pending.

The industry must not be made responsible for energy price increases as a result of mitigation rules that it needs: these clearly result from the state system’s promotion of renewable energies, particularly photovoltaics.

Non-ferrous metals are produced in Germany according to the highest recognised environmental standards worldwide, with resource-saving material cycles and a unique capacity for the recycling of the basic materials used.

The value chains must be maintained in their entirety, from top to bottom, to enable production to continue in the internationally competitive German industrial base to the full technological extent. This means preventing both carbon leakage risks and the delocalisation of industry outside our country. The energy-intensive industry needs secure, clean and affordable electricity. Under this premise, it will make its contribution to the transition to alternative energy.

Original Press Statement: WVM, Statement von Ulrich Grillo, Präsident der WirtschaftsVereinigung Metalle

Web Link:

English translation and press contact:

Sarah Romy Edwards

EUROMETAUX – European Association of Metals

Avenue de Broqueville 12 – B-1150 Brussels, Belgium

Tel. +32 2 775 63 12

E-mail :

Eurometaux is the Brussels-based EU association of the non-ferrous metals industry, representing the main EU and international metals producers, EU and international metal commodity groups and national metal federations. The industry covers base metals (Al, Cu, Pb, Ni, Zn, Sn), precious metals (Au, Ag, PGM´s) and technical metals (e.g. Co, W, Cr, Mo, Mn), manufactured from both virgin and recycled raw materials.


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