Germany chems fear extra costs from proposed govt energy reform

23 January 2014 17:02  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s chemical producers trade group VCI on Thursday joined other energy-intensive industries in criticising the latest government proposals to reform the country’s complex system of subsidising renewable energy.

VCI said that under draft proposals by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new coalition government, the surcharges ("EEG Umlage") electricity consumers have to pay to help finance the build-up of renewables would be extended to include on-site power that chemical and other firms produce for their own use.

The proposals would, if realised, pose an "unbearable" burden harming the international competitiveness of Germany-based industrial producers, said VCI general manager Utz Tillmann.

Companies producing their own power would face additional costs of €300m/year, which could mean that firms will longer invest in on-site power plants, Tillmann said.

"The long overdue EEG reform is on the way at last, but the extra burden for [on-site] electricity production is a stumbling block that our industries cannot accept or overcome," he added.

A number of German chemical producers, including BASF, Evonik and Merck KGaA, have invested in on-site power units to meet their electricity needs and escape the country's high electricity prices.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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