BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's chemical industry has already done everything it can to conserve gas use, said chemical association VCI on Tuesday, which warned that the only steps left for the industry would be to scale back or abandon production altogether.
"For our companies, we are currently once again doing everything we can to exploit every last potential gas saving," said VCI's chief executive, Wolfgang Grosse Entrup.
"But there's not much more we can save, as efficiency has already been the driving force in the past few years," he added.
According to VCI, which represents about 1,900 companies, Germany's chemical and pharmaceutical industries are the country's largest gas consumer, with 15% of total consumption.
Industry leader BASF is considered Germany's largest industrial gas consumer.
VCI issued the warning and called for "a societal show of strength to conserve gas" to get through the winter unscathed as the gas supply from Russia grows increasingly uncertain.
Concerns have been growing that the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, a major route carrying gas from Russia to Europe via Germany, will not resume sending gas at full capacity after July 21, when its current maintenance phase is scheduled to end.
(Reporting by Patricia Weiss and Miranda Murray, editing Rachel More)