Industry Info

EU legislation 'stifling' growth of aluminium industry, warns ALFED

EU Legislation is “stifling” the aluminium industry’s competitiveness in Europe, a leading industrial body has said.

The Aluminium Federation (ALFED) spoke to the Information Daily ahead of a Breakfast Briefing tomorrow, organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the UK Aluminium Industry.

Will Savage, ALFED’s Chief Executive, said he was concerned that the burden of legislation was stifling investment, and called on the EU Commission to create a long-term industrial strategy which would allow the industry to remain a valuable asset in the European market.

A recent study by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), on behalf of the European Commission, analysed the impact of EU regulations on the aluminium market.

The report revealed that EU legislation is impacting production costs by 11 per cent, when compared with aluminium industries outside of Europe.

Savage argues that this report provides strong backing to the argument that EU red tape is preventing the industry from moving forward.

“The EU legislation on the aluminium industry has been immense”, he said.

Speaking about tomorrow’s event, which will be chaired by David Mowat MP, Savage said: “We are hoping to interact with ministers and get the message across about the results of the CEPS report and about the impact on the competitiveness of our industry here in Europe”.

“We can drive that message back up through UK government via our elected representatives through the MEPs back to the European Commission”.

“So when they meet in February to discuss their strategy for European manufacturing they can take all this into account”.

The aluminium industry contributes £3.2 billion to the UK economy, and employs 20,000 people directly and 15,000 indirectly.

 Savage explained that the industry has had to change its business model over the years to compete with the low labour cost economies in Asia.

“The industry has had to drive up the value chain and invest in capital equipment to compete with these labour costs”, he said.

Savage called on the UK government and European institutions to invest in an industrial strategy, which spans several lifetimes so that “the industry can plan for long-term investment”.

He said: “If we are to be competitive we have to make larger capital investments and those investments have to have pay back of 15 to 20 years”.

Source: The Information Daily