Raw materials and energy, increases never seen before

Source: Il Resto del Carlino - Viviana Bruschi - 24 January 2022

Paolo Barbieri, president of CPL CONCORDIA: "At least until the next six months we don't see any reversals, they will be difficult months."

Supply difficulties and skyrocketing costs of raw materials and intermediate products, increases in gas and energy prices. Like all sectors, national multi-utilities are also suffering from the energy crisis and the increase in the price of raw materials that is being recorded worldwide. We talk about it with Paolo Barbieri, President of CPL CONCORDIA, the cooperative company with investee companies that operates internationally.

Q: Most industries are struggling with rising energy prices and difficulties in the supply of raw and intermediate materials. Is CPL, which operates in the field of energy saving, affected by the same difficulties?

A: We are seeing significant increases in the price lists of materials such as steel and plastics and many other major delays in delivery times. These dynamics have never been seen before. The increases in electricity and methane gas prices, in some cases, are more than 300%. Percentages that were unimaginable until last summer. At least until the next six months, we do not see, unfortunately, any significant reversals.

Q: What are the areas of your expertise that are most affected?

A: More or less all sectors have experienced increases in costs, and the current prices of natural gas and electricity have slowed down commercial opportunities related to energy efficiency and, in some cases, risk compromising them permanently.

Q: What measures have been put in place to address the situation?

R: Cash flow management in these phases plays a strategic role, but fortunately for us it is not a problem; We have the ability to Investing in research and development to be ready to seize the new opportunities created by the NRRPfor Grow with even greater momentum, as soon as this 'bubble' is over.

Q: What are the long-term repercussions for Italian companies?

A: All energy-intensive sectors are in extreme difficulty and there are more and more appeals from CEOs or trade representatives to ask the government for urgent action to help businesses. The problem, unfortunately, is not only of the energy-intensive ones, but of the entire Italian productive fabric. In the best case scenario, margins are lost, but in many cases I see companies suspending production in anticipation of a significant drop in costs.

Q: In the short term, is there a viable way to deal with the crisis?

A: Only real and real support for businesses by the government can save them from disaster in the short term. For a medium-long term vision, on the other hand, it is necessary to focus more and more on energy efficiency and invest in renewable energy, with a development plan that is as homogeneous and structured as possible for the country."

Q: CPL operates in the public and private sectors, where do you find the greatest inconveniences?

A: There is no great distinction, never as in this moment can we say that we are all in the same boat, in a stormy sea.

Q: What measures should the government take to deal with the energy crisis?

A: Italy pays, in particular, for its almost total dependence on foreign countries in the supply of natural gas. However, the problem of skyrocketing costs is common to many European countries. Never as in this case, I would like the EU to take a stand.

Link from the Web portal of "Il Resto del Carlino": Raw materials and energy, increases never seen before .