23 May 2012 11:37 [Source: ICIS news]
BARCELONA (ICIS)--EU ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050 will significantly adversely affect the European refining industry, an expert said at the 6th annual Global Refining Summit in Barcelona on Wednesday.
Chris Beddoes, deputy secretary general for the European Petroleum Industry Association (EUROPIA), said that the restrictions and cost of such policies could severely damage the competitiveness of the European refining industry and that of the EU itself.
Beddoes questioned whether EU policymakers will continue to increase the cost of legislation for European refining compared with other regions at a time when EU refineries are already struggling.
He said it should be recognised that the oil industry is essential for Europe. Despite the push towards greener alternatives, and some decline of the demand for oil, oil requirements will still represent about 30% of primary energy in the EU by 2030, and about 20% by 2050.
Oil derivatives are essential for everyday life, with transport accounting for two-thirds of consumption, he added.
EU refining is a strategic asset for EU competitiveness, mobility, technological leadership and revenues. It underpins growth and competitiveness in the EU and provides many highly skilled jobs, Beddoes said.
Beddoes added that it is in the EU’s interest, economically and in terms of energy security, that this demand for oil products is met by the European refining sector.
A legislative framework is needed that allows Europe to remain competitive, he concluded.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050, compared with 1990 levels, would mean industry cutting emissions by 83-87%, compared with figures from 1990.
For the transport sector, it would mean a reduction of 54-67% by 2050, compared with 1990 levels.
Of 98 refineries operating in Europe in 2009, 25% have either shut down, changed ownership or are up for sale.
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