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Parliamentary questions
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27 March 2019
Question for written answer E-001501-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Deirdre Clune (PPE)

 Subject:  Alumina refining
 Answer in writing 

The production of smelter-grade alumina is essential to the primary production of aluminium. There is no technical reason for an alumina refinery and a primary aluminium smelter to be built on the same site rather than on separate sites. Such decisions are purely economic or financial.

Section 5.4 of the Guidance on Interpretation of Annex 1 of the EU Emissions Trading System Directive appears to indicate that alumina refineries must be located on the same site as aluminium smelters in order to be considered part of the primary aluminium production process.

1. Are smelter-grade alumina production facilities classed differently according to their location?

2. Could the potential misclassification of facilities have an impact on what facilities are protected under the new carbon leakage provisions of the amended directive?

Smelter-grade alumina production is, nevertheless, one of the industrial sub-sectors in the EU that is most prone to carbon leakage (CL), with a CL factor of 10 against a concern threshold of 0.2.

3. Is it possible to delete the phrase ‘alumina refining’ from the second to last paragraph of Section 5.4 of the aforementioned guidance document?

If that amendment were made, all EU alumina refineries would be classed as primary aluminium production facilities for the purposes of the ETS.

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