Faced with the risk of a gas shortage this winter, energy-intensive industries could be targeted by load shedding. A hierarchy of activities is currently being studied to determine which could be the first concerned.
A total cut in Russian gas supplies is “the most likely option”, according to Bruno Le Maire. Two weeks ago, the Minister of the Economy called for getting “quickly into battle order” to prepare for the worst-case scenario, namely a gas shortage next winter.
Because if the French storage sites seized are currently 78% full, this may not be enough. Bercy therefore called for anticipation, rather than suffering. In any case, this is the watchword that has been taken over by energy-intensive industries, which alone represent 28% of the gas consumed in France.
“We will do our part”, an insured on BFM Business Nicolas de Warren, president of the Union of energy-using industries (Uniden). Already, the sector is organized to reduce its consumption by 15% in the coming months, he said.
By anticipating this, energy-intensive industrialists hope to escape the nightmare scenario of a gas shortage. The plan provided by Bercy is clear: if the gas were to be sorely lacking, the industry could be targeted by load shedding. A hierarchy of sectors is currently being studied to determine which will be the first concerned, as Nicolas de Warren explains:
“You have to look at the part (of industry, editor’s note) that is essential and the activities that are less so. I understand that for the public authorities there are priorities that affect national defence, health or security. ‘ feed”.
Beyond the strategic sectors, Bercy also wishes to preserve those which make it possible to support growth. For their part, professionals are trying to identify which industries could afford downtime such as cement works, metals or glass and those which have been able to accumulate stocks.
Electricity-consuming industries also concerned
But Nicolas de Warren warns: they could not assume too significant a drop in gas consumption. “The industry will do its part, but we cannot assume a crash scenario” with reductions of “30 to 40%”. “It was causing mass plant shutdowns.”
In turn, industrialists consuming a lot of electricity could also be affected. And for good reason, part of the electricity consumed in France is produced from gas. A production that the nuclear fleet will not be able to compensate for given the number of reactors currently shut down.