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Aperam invests to reduce energy consumption

Aperam is investing in upgrades at its facilities to reduce energy consumption by 30%, with the aim of improving the energy mix and reducing its exposure to price volatility. This comes after it was strongly impacted by energy prices, particularly during peak prices in summer 2022, Kallanish notes.

The firm procures its energy thanks to forward hedges, spot and fixed-price contracts, it says in its annual report.

In 2022, spot prices for natural gas TTF increased on average by 150% compared to 2021. Electricity values also peaked in August 2022 and annual averages in Belgium and France hiked also around 150% year-on-year. The firm is applying energy surcharges of €866/tonne ($938) to March contracts.

The reference for electricity costs is the “producer price index in industrial production sold in France − CPA 35.11 and 35.14 − wholesale electricity”, reported by national statistics institute Insee. The reference for gas costs is also provided by Insee in its “producer price index in industrial production sold in France − CPF 35.23 − wholesale of gas, on spot markets”.

Aperam posted strong results in 2022. Turnover stood at almost €8.2 billion ($8.8 billion), up from €5.1 billion the previous year. Ebitda was at slightly over €1 billion, down from €1.1 billion in 2021.

The market was composed of two halves in 2022. “Ebitda of €712 million in the first half of 2022 was the most profitable six-month period in our history,” the report says. “Ebitda in the second half then halved to €364 million as we faced the brunt of the cost impact described above, alongside a sustained customer destock that impacted apparent consumption and record levels of imports from Asia driven by the elevated price level in Europe.”

Aperam has an annual production capacity of 2.5 million tonnes across six facilities located in Brazil, Belgium and France. It employs 10,700 workers and boasts 15 service centres and five transformation facilities.

The two melt shops in Belgium are located in Genk and Châtelet. Genk includes two electric arc furnaces, a slab continuous caster and a cold rolling mill. Châtelet has a meltshop and a hot rolling mill, including electric arc furnace and slab continuous caster. Aperam also has three cold mills in France, in Gueugnon, Isbergues and Pont-de-Roide. This adds to the Brazilian production facility in Timóteo for stainless, electrical steel and special carbon products.

Natalia Capra France