Chemicals group Covestro warns of damage of a Russia gas embargo

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BERLIN, April 14 (Reuters) - Covestro (1COV.DE) Chief Executive Markus Steilemann said that the chemical industry had to reduce its dependence on fossil fuel raw materials and Russian gas, but an immediate gas embargo on Moscow would have damaging consequences.

"It could lead to the collapse of entire production and supply chains. It would put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk," Steilemann said in a speech ahead of the April 21 annual shareholder meeting of Covestro, which makes foams and plastics for products such as car seats and phone cases.

Steilemann said that Russia's invasion of Ukraine brought "great challenges" for Covestro as well as society, adding that "The long-term consequences are not yet foreseeable today. Neither are the consequences for energy supply".

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Although Steilemann did not repeat Covestro's forecast for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 2.5-3.0 billion euros ($2.73-$3.27 billion) in 2022, a Covestro spokesman said on Thursday it remained valid.

Martin Brudermueller, CEO of the world's largest chemical company BASF (BASFn.DE), warned last month that an embargo on Russian gas could plunge the German economy into the "most severe crisis since the end of World War Two."

Many analysts cut their valuations of chemical companies after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, citing rising energy costs and supply chain disruptions.

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Reporting by Patricia Weiss; Writing by Zuzanna Szymanska; Editing by Alexander Smith

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