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Copper Shortages- Be proactive and dry dock ready!  

Copper Shortages- Be proactive and dry dock ready!

With the rise in inflation, severe copper shortages and labor scarcity in many sectors, and the ongoing supply chain crises, 2022 is feeling the burden of the last two years. Suppliers struggle to keep up with demand as the world resets to the new normal. The resulting economic effect is in full view and must be considered by all; unfortunately, we are no exception.

Over the last several months, our BLOG has focused on the marine industry’s efforts to push forward to a more sustainable future with the implementations of the EEXI (Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index) and CII (Carbon Intensity Indicator). The two new mandatory measures benchmark the IMOs 2030 target to reduce emissions between 2023 and 2030 by 40% from 2008.

It is not just the marine industry pushing forward with more sustainable practices. It is happening across all sectors and most countries. In the Paris Agreement, more than 196 countries have pledged to implement net zero emissions plans by 2050, based on the global warming target of about 1.5 degrees Celsius imposed for 2050.

However, mined raw materials, green metals, and green technologies are crucial to make this possible, with copper and aluminum being part of their commodities’ lineup. Unfortunately, the ramp-up to a greener future, coupled with reduced mining over the last two years and only a handful of mills currently in production, has led to severe shortages and price increases. For example, copper was as low as $5.00/lb in 2021, which now sits at $11.00/lb. 

What do copper shortages mean to us?

Copper and aluminum are essential for producing the anodes for our MGPS system: 90% of our anode makeup is extruded C110 Copper (99.9% pure) or 6061 Aluminum. So, as you can imagine, these shortages have us on full alert, and we are keeping a close eye on these markets.

I do not want this BLOG to be all doom and gloom. There is some good news – the Copper supply is expected to increase this year!

But, despite this, experts expect a significant shortage in the years ahead. Goldman Sachs highlights that copper is “sleepwalking towards a stockout.” Global copper demand is likely to touch around 60 million tons by 2050, according to Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg, setting the stage for a significant deficit.

What we can control when it comes to copper shortages.

Unfortunately, like many things in life, we don’t have any control over shortages and fluctuations in price. All we can do is work to be proactive in these situations. We know that extended lead times and supply issues will only worsen in the coming years due to the boom in electric vehicles and other renewable technology demand and the green transition rapidly picking up over the next few decades.

The issue is clear to see that there has been insufficient capital investment and expenditure toward this transition by both governments and investors. -Investment must now be made to ramp up mining and production operations to produce crucial metals such as copper and aluminum for antifouling and anticorrosion products (as well as other industries).

While governments and investors look to mitigate these shortages and provide solutions for industry as we move to a more sustainable tomorrow, our priority at EMCS has always been to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. Therefore, we will continue proactively approaching our customers and keeping them aware of the ever-evolving situation.

We ask our customers to consider their upcoming drydocks 12-18 months before their scheduled date to ensure that we can meet your expectations by having your antifouling and anticorrosion solutions ready for the small window you have to complete your dry dock.

Contributor: Meghan Raza



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