It is a drastic warning that the foundry entrepreneur Rolf Cramer issues for his industry: “If we turn off the gas, no more cars will be built,” says the head of Druckguss Westfalen about the gas emergency to the “Wirtschaftswoche”.
Because 200 foundries in Germany produce parts made of aluminum and other light metals, primarily for the automotive industry and its suppliers. However, unlike those of the approximately 400 iron foundries, their melting furnaces are not fired with electricity but with gas.
And concerns about outages as a result of a gas embargo by Russia are growing every day. Without the aluminum parts from Westphalia, however, Audi and Porsche would no longer build a car. Since this problem affects the entire industry, no replacement is possible with other foundries.
The Upper Austrian steel giant Voest also has an automotive supplier division. The board member responsible, Peter Schwab, recently said that European car production is currently only two-thirds of its pre-corona level due to the lack of semiconductors and a lack of deliveries of wiring harnesses from Ukraine.
A gas failure would also hit the leading company in Upper Austria hard – and yet precautions have been taken, as the eXXpress reported. Because politicians and the responsible minister Leonore Gewessler completely overslept the gas crisis, they became active themselves and set up a reserve that would last about three months.
At that point at the latest, Voest will say “Njet”…