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VDFFI General Meeting Elects Ulf Frohneberg as Chairman

The General Meeting of the Association of the German Refractories Industry (VDFFI, Höhr-Grenzhausen) has elected Ulf Frohneberg, Steuler-KCH Materials GmbH/DE, as its new Board Chairman. In this office, he succeeds Thomas Seger, RHI Magnesita/AT, who had headed the Association since 2009 and stood down from the Board after 18 years in total.

The members also bid farewell to Volker Büscher, another Board member whose term of office ends with his retirement from the member company RHI Magnesita. Dr-Ing. Harald Zender, Calderys Deutschland GmbH, Neuwied/DE, has been elected as the second Vice-Chairman, and now completes the Executive Board with already serving Vice-Chairman Michael Wiessler, EKW GmbH, Eisenberg/DE. Newly elected as Board Members were Marcus Blumenberg, Managing Director at KNÖLLINGER Keramische Verschleissteile GmbH, Hillscheid/DE; and Peter Schreyer, Plant Manager at RHI Magnesita Deutschland AG, Marktredwitz/DE. Christian Wasmuht, P-D Refractories GmbH, Bochum/DE, also has a seat on the Board as Chairman of the Technical Advisory Board.

Another key topic discussed at the General Meeting in the Stadthalle Ransbach-Baumbach was the Fuel Emission Trading Act (BEHG), which plans the introduction of national emission trading (nETS) in Germany. This will have considerable financial repercussions for all companies. Plants subject to European emission trading (EU-ETS) will not only be burdened with additional bureaucratic effort, in certain cases the CO2 levies will only be reimbursed in the following year, tying up considerable liquidity. It is imperative that companies already subject to European emission trading regulations should not be exposed to a double burden. All other companies have to pay the levy when purchasing energy. Unfortunately, only a partial compensation is planned for these companies, which will then lack the resources, for instance, for investment in new more efficient plants. For this reason, the Association is actively engaged in talks in Berlin to achieve a solution to safeguard the industry’s position in Germany. The formulation of the national regulations for the BEHG must make provisions both for the climate goals and for a secure future for the industry in Germany. Especially as the refractories industry, with its high export quota, must contend with international competition.

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