Green Markets

EWN Publishing

Pollution the price paid for steel, argues BlueScope Steel

Posted by gmarkets on 3 September, 2007

The industry’s prime greenhouse issue was coal and coke were essential raw materials in making iron and steel. “Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are an unavoidable consequence of current iron and steel manufacturing technology and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future,” BlueScope Steel, Australia’s largest listed manufacturing company, has told the inquiry into emissions trading held by the state governments. A big concern for BlueScope Steel and other energy-intensive manufacturers in Australia was that the constraints on greenhouse gas emissions now being proposed by the federal Government and the opposition are not likely to be applied in countries with whom they compete in the global market place, reported The Australian (30/6/2007, p. 2).

Long-term energy contracts difficult: In Europe the industry is complaining loudly that its gas and electricity bills have increased “dramatically” over the past three years, weakening EU steelmakers’ international competitiveness. The EU carbon dioxide trading system, it says, has added substantially to upward price pressures in the energy market. Because of energy price volatility in Europe, it adds, long-term contracts are now very difficult to obtain, a significant problem for a capital intensive business that needs to make 20-year investment decisions.

New technology “decades away”: A steep change in technology is being pursued, it says, through Australia’s participation in the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (AP6) with the aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions in steelmaking through changes to iron ore processing, “However,” it adds, “the new technology is many years, and perhaps decades, away from commercialisation.”

The Australian, 30/6/2007, p. 2

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