The industry association Aluminium Deutschland reacted in March 2023 to the Critical Raw Materials Act presented by the European Commission, which aims to strengthen material supply chains. The president of the Association of Aluminium Companies, Rob von Gils, is “surprised, to say the least, that the Commission has not identified aluminium as a strategic material”.
The Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) presented by the European Commission is meant as a toolbox to overcome European dependencies on strategic raw materials. The Commission has already identified strategic technologies and industries in the concretization of the “Green Deal”. The aim of the CRMA is to secure and strengthen supply chains of materials.
Now the trade association Aluminium Deutschland e.V. (AD) is reacting, as the European proposal for critical raw materials is clearly too short-sighted. In principle, the German aluminium industry welcomes the efforts to make Europe’s supply chains resilient and future-proof.
We are surprised, to say the least, that the Commission has not identified aluminium as a strategic material. Without a strong, cohesive and resilient aluminium competence chain, we are only shifting the risk of strategic dependency instead of overcoming it.
This will not bring us closer to Europe’s goals. The switch to battery electric vehicles, the expansion of renewable energies and the grids cannot be implemented without aluminium. And we are well advised to preserve these well-established chains of competence in Germany and Europe. Rob van Gils, President of Aluminium Deutschland e.V.
The physical scarcity of a material should not be the only decisive factor in risk assessment. The regional concentration of its processing is also important, he said. “China already accounts for 58 per cent of the production of primary aluminium. In the case of magnesium, we have already had to learn that a Chinese decision in autumn 2021 has put the world market in massive disarray”, says van Gils. “We run the risk of making the same mistake a second time.”