FuelsEurope’s response to the EU’s recovery plan from the Coronavirus emergency: a call for a climate-neutral, resilient and socially just economy
FuelsEurope, representing the EU refining and marketing industry, welcomes the Recovery Plan published by the European Commission on the 27th of May. We recognise that the Covid-19 crisis has put our society and economic model under the most severe test in decades. As there won’t be a return to business as usual, we believe that the EU refining industry is well placed, leveraging its technological excellence, to step up the ongoing low-carbon transformation while recovering the economic sustainability of its operation.
FuelsEurope, representing the EU refining and marketing industry, welcomes the Recovery Plan published by the European Commission on the 27th of May. We recognise that the Covid- 19 crisis has put our society and economic model under the most severe test in decades. As there won’t be a return to business as usual, we believe that the EU refining industry is well placed, leveraging its technological excellence, to step up the ongoing low-carbon transformation while recovering the economic sustainability of its operation.
The EU refining industry is in fact already engaged in a transition aiming at contributing to the EU climate neutrality in 2050, through investments in R&D projects and the early demonstration and deployment of clean technologies. These technologies have already been proven at different readiness levels, but they need to be implemented at scale with no delay. Therefore, FuelsEurope firmly believes that the Recovery Plan should contribute to creating the conditions for unlocking investments in low-carbon technologies for fuels, petrochemical feedstocks and other refinery products.
FuelsEurope would like to focus on the LESSONS LEARNED during the crisis in those areas that rely on this industry for their functioning during emergencies:
Transport: while the lockdown imposed in many countries on many sectors of the economy resulted in a dramatic decrease in the demand for transport, workers and goods involved in providing essential services to society still needed reliable transport.
The EU refining and marketing industry:
- Has kept refineries working, limiting the workforce to the essential tasks for safe and reliable operation of plants, protecting own personnel and contractors from the spread of contagion;
- Has quickly adapted its manufacturing cycle to supply fuels and other products according to the changes in demand;
- Has leveraged on its flexible logistics and distribution system to make products available where and when they were needed. This has allowed both medical equipment and personnel to travel to their destination and food and other essential goods to be delivered without disruptions.
Supply chain: the petrochemical feedstocks produced in refineries have kept flowing to the chemical industry, another strategic component of the EU industrial chain, and this has been crucial for the provision of essential products and material during the emergency.
Security of supply: while, during the crisis, challenges arose over the smooth supply of critical goods, for which the EU depends on imports, the reliability of refineries and the strategic reserves of refinery products (equivalent to 90 days of average supply volume) ensured self-sufficient, secure supplies for the EU economy and EU citizens.
Resilience: the EU refining industry so far has demonstrated its flexibility to adapt to unexpected and challenging conditions, providing an important contribution to the efforts of EU governments to overcome the Covid-19 crisis, even whilst experiencing a very difficult financial situation.
FuelsEurope believes that the EU recovery plan should give adequate consideration to the following interdependent objectives for our sector:
- Enabling the low-carbon transition of this industry in line with the EU ambition of a climate-neutral economy by 2050.
- Facilitating the economic recovery of the EU refinery industry, which has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis so that it can keep going in the transition and build back better.