18 September 2013 15:08 [Source: ICIS news]
COLOGNE (ICIS)--Investments by the German chemicals industry to increase energy efficiency and lower costs are going unrewarded because of rising energy costs in the country, the CEO of specialties producer LANXESS said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the company's Cologne headquarters, Axel Heitmann said substantial reductions in energy consumption were being offset by increasing energy costs as a result of Germany's shift away from nuclear power.
"Because of major efforts in the last few years, our energy consumption in Germany has been reduced by 30%. This is not being rewarded because the investments necessary for this are contrasted with additional energy burdens," he said.
The rising cost of energy in the country is exacerbating a loss of competitiveness compared to chemicals producers in the US, which are benefiting from cheaper energy costs and feedstock prices due to the shale gas boom.
German chemical company energy costs are "a multiple" of what their US counterparts pay, Heitmann said, estimated that US producers pay about 25% of what local producers pay for electricity.
A German chemicals industry trade union also recently raised concerns about the impact of the country's energy policies on domestic chemical production.
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