The industry asks Maroto for protection against the blow by the renewable fund that Transición Ecológica is preparing

Large industry has intensified its pressure on the minister Reyes Maroto so that it tries to stop or at least mitigate the impact that, according to the report, the sector will involve the approval of the National Fund for the Sustainability of the Electric System on its already precarious international competitiveness. Several of the main industrial employers have sent their demands to Maroto and his team in recent weeks in a last and desperate attempt to obtain protection from the Vice Presidency of Ecological Transition that he directs. Teresa Ribera. Meetings have been unsuccessfully requested, there have been calls, letters … but in the sector they regret that in the ministry that bears their name they are not effectively defended by the clear deficit of forces in the Council of Ministers against to Ribera.

The industry has also used the official channel by registering dozens of allegations in the Ecological Transition mailbox on the draft bill that regulates the creation of this fund, although in this way they place less hope. In this documentation, to which EL MUNDO has had access to a large extent, they state as their main conclusion that the transfer of the cost of 7,000 million euros in renewables historically charged on the electricity bill to other energies such as fuel and, above all , gas will greatly increase their costs and make them more inefficient compared to German, French and, let alone, Asian factories.

The sector asks Maroto to emulate the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, that this Monday he was opposed to the prohibition of hunting wolves promoted by Ribera when noting the impact it would have on livestock. “I do not agree and I share the concern of the farmers,” said the head of the Spanish field. In the industrial sector they want similar protection. “” We have asked the ministry for meetings and they have ignored us. Of course, if they have been concerned or have done something to defend our interests, we have not noticed, “he explains. Andrés Barceló, general director of the iron and steel employers’ association Unesid.

One of the most repeated arguments among the different industrial employers refers to the bad moment in which the exchange rate falls, with the industry plunged into a severe crisis that in 2020 meant the biggest drop in activity in the last 11 years. From Transición Ecológica they allege that the introduction of the fund, if finally approved by Parliament, would be extended gradually over five years to mitigate the impact and would include offsets of up to 85% of the increased cost for industrialists.

The patron saint of ceramics Ascer He sent a letter to Maroto on January 22 in which he warned of the risk to the survival of the sector if the fund or other decarbonization measures promoted by the Government continued at the current rate. In this letter, Ascer figures in 48 million euros the impact of this measure due to the increase in gas prices that they will suffer in their production processes. In the letter, Ascer asks for “support” and warns that the start of 2021 is not being as good as expected because “too many fronts are opening that seriously threaten the sector and its jobs.” “The draft is very uncertain and transmits legal uncertainty, which in the end ends up holding back investment,” he says Alberto Echavarria, general secretary of the association.

In the paper industry it is also clear who will end up paying the cost of the new fund, and it will not be precisely the 600 electricity or oil companies that will help finance it in the first place. “These companies will be mere tax collectors and then they will end up transferring it to their clients, as is logical. According to our estimate, the highest cost it will imply for the industry takes half of the aid contemplated in the current Consumer Statute Electrointensive, “he explains Carlos Reinoso, CEO of Aspapel. The economic memory of the draft bill leaves free 94 milllones of this aid to the PGE and also endorses it to the fund.

Industrialists consider that the power imbalance between Ecological Transition and Industry within the Government is palpable and they claim to be a source of quality employment. “We all would like the industry to have a more powerful and less limited framework of competencies, with its own secretary of state,” he laments Aniceto Zaragoza, general manager of the cement company Oficemen.