Krefeld plant closure due to high energy costs, ThyssenKrupp ceo says

The closure of Inoxum’s meltshop in Krefeld and the need for the company to merge with Outokumpu were brought about by high energy costs hindering steel production in Germany, ThyssenKrupp ceo Dr Heinrich Hiesinger said on Wednesday June 13.

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Hiesinger, whose company’s stainless steel subsidiary Inoxum is merging with the Finnish firm, was speaking in a debate at a conference in Berlin hosted by Germany’s steelmakers’ federation, WV Stahl.

He said Finland, Italy and the USA had an advantage over Germany for steelmakers, due to the high energy costs related to the German government’s renewable energy act, Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz [EEG].

“[Higher energy costs] could cause uncertainty in the markets in Germany because, when investors think it could get more expensive, they will not invest. This is also why Krefeld will be closed,” Hiesinger added.

Questioned about the future of steelmaking in Germany, Hiesinger stressed that industrial growth can only be created by engineering, which needs stable raw material prices and is heavily dependent on energy prices.

“There are currently around 1,400 steelworks in Germany. The question is whether they will remain [in operation],” Hiesinger said.

In January, the company announced that, as part of the Inoxum-Outokumpu merger, Inoxum’s meltshop in Krefeld would gradually be shut down by the end of 2013.