Thursday, March 21st, 2019

Special Report: How fracking helps America beat German industry

Production Superintendent Kelly Seal gestures atop the MDI 3 unit at Huntsman's polyurethane plant in Geismar, LouisianaBy Christoph Steitz and Ernest Scheyder BURGHAUSEN, Germany/GEISMAR, Louisiana (Reuters) – Nestled in the green hills of southern Germany, chemical giant Wacker Chemie churns out a wide range of products, from an ingredient for chewing gum to the polysilicon crystals in solar cells. The electricity to produce all that – enough power for more than 700,000 households annually – has become more costly at Wacker’s main factory in Burghausen. There, chemicals maker Huntsman Corp pays 22 percent less for its power than it did just seven years ago. Thanks in large part to Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power and push into green energy, companies there now pay some of the highest prices in the world for power.

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