Rob van Gils elected as new Aluminium Deutschland president
Image: Aluminium Deutschland
At Aluminium Deutschland (AD)’s recent general meeting in Berlin, Dr Hinrich Mählmann, chairman of the Advisory Boards of OTTO FUCHS KG and Schüco International KG, addressed the members as president for the last time after seven years in office.
Accordingly, the election of a new association president was the focus of the event. The choice fell unanimously on Rob van Gils, CEO of Hammerer Aluminium Industries.
New AD president Rob van Gils commented: “I would like to thank the members of the association for their trust and look forward to the new task, which is associated with an enormous challenge. I would like to thank Dr Mählmann, who modernised the association during his term of office and sharpened its profile. It has never been more urgent than it is today: The aluminium industry is currently facing what is probably the toughest stress test in its history. The price development on the energy markets deprives large parts of German industry of its competitiveness – with corresponding consequences for employment in companies. It is precisely in this situation that the Office has a special responsibility.”
A recent member survey conducted by AD shows that about four out of ten companies in the German aluminium industry have secured themselves with electricity by the end of 2022 and will have to buy at significantly higher prices as early as 2023 – i.e. in just over three months. The same applies to the procurement of gas. For a further 30%, this will be the case from mid-2023.
Van Gils continued: “We are already observing the first plant closures in Germany and Europe due to high gas and electricity prices. Most companies in the aluminium industry have secured themselves with energy for a certain period of time by acting with foresight. For some, however, the tree is already burning.”
The period for political action is therefore very limited. Van Gils said: “We are talking about a few months, if at all. Politicians must now quickly bring relief for the energy-intensive industry on the way, so that Germany does not become the “Rust Belt” of Europe. It should also bear in mind that the demand for aluminium will increase in the course of the energy and transport transition and that this also has potential for location and employment. With the right framework conditions, we can become the job engine in the transformation of European industry.”