«The sharp rise in the costs of raw materials and energy risks blocking the recovery of the construction and road works sector; a sector that had just woken up after years of crisis and the constant absence of investments in maintenance and new infrastructures. From January to today, the cost of bitumen (an oil-derived product essential for the construction and maintenance of roads and more) has increased by 40% “: this is what was reported by the Siteb Association (Italian roads and bitumen) in a letter addressed to to the President of the Council of Ministers, Mario Draghi, to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Daniele Franco, to the Minister of Economic Development, Giancarlo Giorgetti, and to the Minister of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility, Enrico Giovannini.
“To prevent expensive materials from producing more damage to companies than those produced by Covid in the last two years, the mechanism promoted by the Government for the compensation of the costs of building materials, which have undergone an increase greater than the ‘8% », suggests Siteb. He points out that the resumption of building activity (stimulated by government measures regarding the subsidies for energy and seismic redevelopment of buildings) and road maintenance work has been colliding, for some months, with the increase in costs of raw materials and with the systematic shortage of the products necessary to carry out the work.
Above all, raw materials derived from oil are lacking; a picture aggravated by unimaginable increases in oil, electricity (with increases of 60%) and thermal energy (the cost of gas has more than doubled). This results in great difficulties in the management of the construction sites started, both in terms of progress of the works and in terms of updating prices during construction. The problem affects many building materials (steel, plastics, concrete) and in particular bitumen, a product of petroleum derivation, which has increased by about 40% since the beginning of the year.
“We ask the Government to extend to the whole of 2021 (today it is only foreseen for the first 6 months of the year) the duration of the measure that allows the compensation of the costs of building materials that have undergone an increase of more than 8%”, explains Siteb President, Michele Turrini: “Without this adjustment, the companies in the sector that have resisted the dark of the pandemic risk being victims of this spiral of rising prices”.