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Steel, paper: the cost of energy is holding back the industry in Germany – Economy

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steel, paper, chemical

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The cost of energy is holding back industry in Germany

Reading time: 5 minutes

Steel, paper, chemicals: a steel mill in Bremen: Natural gas and power plants are more environmentally friendly than coal-fired blast furnaces, but are currently struggling.

A steelworks in Bremen: electricity and natural gas systems are more environmentally friendly than coal-fired blast furnaces, but are currently struggling.

(Photo: Sina Schuldt/Picture Alliance/dpa)

High electricity and gas prices are leaving their mark: companies are reducing or closing production on a daily basis. The consequences range from part-time work to expensive toilet paper.

From

Saskia Aleythe, Michael Bauchmüller, Caspar Busse and Benedikt Müller-Arnold, Hamburg/Berlin/Munich/Cologne

If you want to see the future of steel production, you have to go to Hamburg. To the west of the port, where ships from all over the world bring the iron ore in its red hues to the Arcelormittal wharf. Europe’s largest steel company operates a so-called direct reduction plant there: it does not produce steel with climate-damaging coal, but with natural gas. In the future, Arcelormittal even wants to burn hydrogen, which is obtained from water using a lot of green electricity. It is the dream of the entire industry: “green” steel, for example for cars or washing machines.

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