European heavy industry has endured a grim few months. Sky high energy prices and fuel shortages sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have left close to 10 per cent of crude steel production and half of primary aluminium idle. The fertiliser industry has recently clawed its way back to half capacity and groups such as Norway’s Yara are warning that slashed production will lead to food shortages.
The fuel crisis appears to be easing. But the strictures that it caused will hang over European corporate decisions for years. Even as companies invest in green energy and improve energy efficiency, some are also rethinking their geographic footprint.