The CEO of ALUMINCO, one of the leading companies in aluminium market, Mr. Argiris Karras, conveys his expectations and shares his views on the industry.

While the first months of the pandemic have shocked economy, the progressive lifting of the restriction measures, the internal and incoming tourism, the endurance of the exportations and the implementation of projects have significantly boosted the market during the second half of 2020, Mr. Karras points out. He adds that despite the uncertainties, the ongoing vaccination, the disposition of the investors to implement big projects and the ongoing Public Programme for the energy efficiency upgrading of more than 500.000 residents are extremely good reasons to expect a rebound of the sector during the second semester of 2021.
Regarding the international markets, which have proven resilient during the pandemic, it is expected to continue their positive trajectory, while the Greek exporting companies have already won the trust of the markets in which they are active. It is obvious of course, Mr. Karras continues, that the pandemic will probably change permanently the behaviour of the consumers forcing the market to adapt accordingly.
The ongoing Public Programme for the energy efficiency upgrading, according to the CEO of ALUMINCO, is a great opportunity for the sector. Improving energy efficiency is a first priority of the European Union and a key component of the government’s strategy to
achieve national energy and environmental goals. At least 60.000 residents each year and until 2030 will be improved. Since the majority of the Greek building stock is constructed before 1980, it is logical that an energy efficiency upgrade of such scale, with a total budget of 1 billion euros, will have tremendous benefits. Especially for the construction sector, there is no doubt that energy upgrade programmes, such as the ongoing, give a significant boost, stimulate economic activity and employment, while creating high economic and operational benefits to Greek households. Perhaps the aluminium industry, in particular, enjoys the most significant benefits, given that in previous corresponding programmes about 80% of the funds were related to the replacement of window and door frames.
Mr. Karras has no doubt that more upgrades can be made and that should be primary goal. Europe has paved the way for national governments to take extra action, with more resources and better results. Either with European resources or through tax incentives to individuals and companies. He also expresses his preference, in future programmes, for aluminium over synthetic frames. Aluminium is not only a Greek “national” product, famous for its high quality, but it is also the “green” metal of the future, which can be recycled indefinitely, while meeting the technological and ecological requirements. Aluminium frames contribute to green growth and environmental protection which is one of the largest and most important national action plans.
Lastly, Mr. Karras shares his view about the Greek aluminium industry and its place in the international market. The Greek aluminium industry is a competitive and leading industry. It holds a significant position in international markets, being 9 times more export-oriented than its EU counterpart, with a substantial contribution to the national economy. The total industry consists of 3,000 large, medium and small enterprises in all stages of processing and trade. It directly or indirectly employs 30,000 people, with total sales exceeding € 2.5 billion and having production units, privately owned distribution networks and commercial presence in over 50 countries.
The good course of the domestic aluminium industry, as well as the positive prospects for the future, are largely due to its strong structural characteristics. These include the high degree of extroversion, investments in innovation, the dynamics of international demand, the availability of domestic raw materials, the full development of the supply chain within the country, the innovative internationally certified systems available in the construction sector and the particularly useful properties of aluminium as a material. All these while the prospects for aluminium being extremely positive, as global demand is expected to double by 2050.