… moving Euro Chlor along its Transition Pathway
I acknowledge that this past year has been tough for Euro Chlor members across Europe. We saw reduced production levels due to a challenging economic situation and were faced with an inappropriate benchmark for our ETS indirect compensation via State Aid. This coincided with an unprecedented regulatory agenda triggered by the Green Deal, which has put additional pressure on the entire EU chemical industry. This does not encourage investments in the EU versus the rest of the world. Our interactions with the European Commission services, up to the Directorate General level, are intense and we bring consistent messages to help the industry move in the right direction.
However, we still need to restore our competitiveness and implement measures to apply the learnings from our Argus Media Cost Competitiveness Study. This includes further developing and implementing activities that fulfill our need for abundant competitive, low-carbon electricity.
Meanwhile, as Chairman of Euro Chlor, I can only emphasize that we need to keep moving towards being a Safety Leader for the chemical industry. Our results have deteriorated in 2022 and we must urgently reverse this trend by stepping up our efforts. We need to further implement the Safe Loading and Unloading Commitment by engaging transport companies and downstream users. We need to build on our safety trainings and use new tools such as the upcoming interactive safety game.
We are also looking for practical solutions to fully utilise our hydrogen, as set as a goal in our MCS. This includes work on hydrogen infrastructure across Europe, highlighting chlor-alkali’s role in the EU hydrogen economy, and investigating the availability and use of carbon-neutral energy to give our high-quality and low-carbon hydrogen the recognition it deserves.
Finally, we will launch an engaging benefits campaign to reach a wider audience across Europe that highlights the crucial role of chlor-alkali products. This new campaign comes at a vital crossroads as authorities begin to discuss just what ‘chemicals’ are critical, or ‘essential’, for Europe.
Needless to say, Euro Chlor has its work cut out for another year. I thank the membership and Euro Chlor team for their hard work over the past 12 months and gladly offer my leadership to help drive towards some good results that will keep our key part of the chemical industry alive and kicking in the EU.