The Spanish industry revolts against the electricity companies in the great battle of the moment to lower the price of light. In a counteroffensive, the associations of steel, chemical industry, paper and petroleum products complain that the bill they pay in Spain is "six times higher than in Germany" and they have asked the National Markets Commission and of the Competition (CNMC) that does not yield and not only maintain, but hardens its plan to force a reduction in remuneration to electric and gas companies.
They have also sent a letter to the president of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE), Antonio Garamendi, not to align with the so-called electric lobby and keep "strict neutrality" before the schism created in the bosses of the great employer.
The letter, to which EL MUNDO has had access, is signed by the president of the Spanish Association of Petroleum Products (AOP), Luis Aires, that of Aspapel, Jordi Mercader, that of the Business Federation of the Spanish Chemical Industry (Feique ), Carles Navarro, and that of steelmaker Unesid, Bernardo Velázquez.
In the back room of all of them there are companies such as Acerinox, Repsol, Cepsa, Basf, Dow Chemical, the large pharmaceutical companies or Ence that face Naturgy, Iberdrola or Endesa. "We have been working intensively for years to reduce the high and excessive regulated costs that we bear in Spain, which today double those of France, triple those of the United Kingdom, and multiply those of Germany by six," underline these associations to Garamendi.
And they applaud the CNMC's plan to lower tolls to electricity companies by 6.8% for the domestic consumer and 13.4% for the industrial consumer in the new regulatory period until 2025; 26% also for gas consumers for a domestic consumer and 6.7% for an industrial consumer for the 2021-2026 regulatory period.
The so-called tolls are the remuneration of the system to electric and gas operators for the costs of transport and distribution. They are an important part of the receipt and the system is currently paying more than 5,000 million, according to the allegations presented by these industrial employers to the CNMC.
"Our companies are bearing the cost of an unjustifiable over- compensation in the field of gas transportation and distribution, which is why we consider the proposed cut-off presented by the regulatory body fair and fully justified," they affirm in their letter dated September 30 .
Sources of these employers say they have also requested meetings in recent days with the president of the CNMC, José María Marín Quemada, to express "the serious situation of competitive disadvantage generated by the differential with Europe of gas tolls." "Gas is a determining factor in our industrial costs, we pay tolls 45% more than the European average," they say.
On Marín's agenda there is a meeting on the 30th with the Association for a Competitive Industrial Gas to which all the industrial sectors affected by the gas bill belong.
The presidents of the CEOE member employers call attention in their letter to Garamendi on their statements last September 19 in which he described as "barbaric" the impact on the stock market in the energy sector of the announcement of the CNMC and called for "regulatory predictability" and "avoid fluctuations", and ensure that a proposal to cut compensation was foreseeable.
«We are aware that this proposal [of the CNMC] can have a negative impact on some listed company of great importance in Spain, and in that context we understand your statements warning of this perverse effect that, of course, we do not want, nor is among our objectives since they are strategic suppliers for us.
But in no case can we ignore that these companies have known since 2017 the economic and financial reports of the CNMC warning of the need to review an excessively loose compensation framework that even affected fully amortized assets, as the economic reports that have shown accompanied to the aforementioned circulars ».
With maximum diplomatic tone, they make this request to the president of the employer: «We want to transfer that, beyond our full confidence in the neutrality of CEOE, you appreciate the appropriateness of taking measures to preserve it».
This same week, representatives of the employers of the Spanish ceramic industry (Ascer, ANFFECC and Asebec) met with Garamendi for the same reason and he undertook to adopt a neutral position. The CNMC proposal enters into decisive phase after the period of allegations and the request of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition of meetings with the independent regulatory body for alleged invasion of government energy policy.
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