HAMBURG, June 20 (Reuters) - Europe's largest copper
producer Aurubis is exploring a switch to alternative
energy sources at its European sites, including electricity and
oil, as a way to cut gas consumption, it said on Monday.
"This would result in considerable costs for the conversion,
for which we would have to make advance payments," the company
said a day after Germany unveiled a new package aimed at saving
gas, Russian supplies of which have drastically dwindled.
"Due to many disruptions in global supply chains, a switch
to alternative energy sources is currently estimated to take
several months to a year, depending on the measure, and is
characterised by major uncertainties such as the availability of
technologies and service providers," Aurubis said.
Around 80% of the group's energy needs are met by
electricity, the group said, adding its plant in Hamburg, where
the company is based, could not be weaned off natural gas in the
short term due to energy-intense production processes.
German industry largely depends on Russian gas and efforts
to replace the fuel with other sources is proving a challenge
for Berlin, facing higher procurement costs and competition for
scarce alternative volumes.
(Reporting by Jan Schwartz; Writing by Christoph Steitz;
Editing by Susan Fenton)