Aurubis boss Harings: “Electricity price differences are unsustainable”

Aurubis boss Harings: “Electricity price differences are unsustainable”

Mr. Harings, raw materials, securing resources, supply chains – these are currently topics of paramount importance for the economy. Now you are traveling with the Federal Chancellor in Latin America. Why is this trip important?

Sven Astheimer

Responsible editor for corporate reporting.

Aurubis purchases 2.4 million tons of copper concentrates from all over the world, we have a very diverse supply. 14 percent of that amount comes from Chile, so that’s a very important country for us. The reverse is even truer: Aurubis accounts for 40 percent of all goods exported from Chile to Germany – measured in terms of export values. We have maintained close business relationships with Chile for decades, the same applies to Brazil and Peru. That was the reason why I, as CEO of Aurubis, was invited to the Federal Chancellor’s trip.

Usually on such occasions a supply contract is signed or an investment is agreed. In your case it was about environmental protection?

Yes, it was about the copper smelters of the state-owned Codelco group, some of which use the same technology as 30 years ago. For example, large amounts of sulfur dioxide are still released. We, on the other hand, have the best process technology and pass on our know-how to the state-owned Codelco company. By signing the cooperation agreement on this topic, among other things, as part of such a trip, you create a supportive framework so that the improvements are actually implemented.

With the new supply chain law, would it still be possible for Aurubis to purchase copper concentrate from Codelco as long as they do not implement better environmental standards?

To say it in advance: Our supply relationships with Codelco are only very limited. Up to now we have mostly cooperated with other companies in Chile and Codelco in turn supplies mainly to China. But nobody needs the Supply Chain Act. Maybe in another industry, which was the trigger with its working conditions, but not in our branch. Aurubis is much further ahead, both conceptually and in terms of implementation. Our policy is: stay and improve. Our aim is to improve the entire copper supply chain. At the same time, we want to create awareness in politics of the framework conditions that industry needs.

Keyword framework conditions: What is your most important concern in the current situation?

On the way to decarbonizing our processes, electricity from renewable energies is becoming increasingly important, which must be available reliably and at competitive prices: affordable, available and sustainable. In cooperation with the VCI and BDI associations, Aurubis has developed a model that enables a transformation electricity price for the industry that is about to decarbonize. For us, this is the biggest transformation since the industrial revolution.

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