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EU's lack of support for the steel industry frustrates Eurofer

The European steel association Eurofer has called on the European Union to pay more attention to the steel industry during the ongoing energy transition.

EU's lack of support for the steel industry frustrates Eurofer

The union has released an opinion paper in response to the The Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) package. This package, adopted in March, includes EU programs for the transition to "green energy", but actually bypasses steel producers.

Axel Eggert, CEO of Eurofer, notes that the energy transition is almost impossible without steel. In addition, the European steel industry has to carry out costly decarbonization activities, but the EU has not yet taken any decisions to support this. According to Eurofer, over the past decade, Europe has lost 26 million tons of steel production capacity and 25% of the industry's workforce. This trend will not change unless the EU takes measures to correct this situation and offers support programs for metallurgists.

The organization is writing an opinion piece about this. The document contains the following four main points:

Ensuring the supply of "green" energy carriers, especially hydrogen, as well as raw materials such as scrap metal at competitive prices;
More transparent plans for financing programs aimed at reducing carbon emissions;
Approval of "green metallurgy" and "green" metal products (including low-carbon steel) as one of the "key markets" with a special regulatory regime and government support;
The transformation of trade policy that will allow European metallurgists to successfully compete with global players such as the United States and China.
Axel Eggert also pays special attention to the supply of scrap metal. According to him, European companies already process millions of tons of scrap per year, but the demand for it will increase, which could lead to a shortage of this raw material by 2030.

Again, the inclusion of scrap metal in the list of critical raw materials in the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), adopted together with the NZIA in March, will help solve the problem. Eurofer had previously proposed this solution, but the scrap list did not appear in the final version.

According to Eggert, the European Union needs to consider Eurofer's proposals by October 2023. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joseph Biden are scheduled to meet this month. Eggert seems sure that the EU authorities are obliged to conclude a series of agreements with the United States that affect "green metallurgy" and the cooperation of countries in this field.

It is playing a much more active and more specific role in supporting the US steel market. Thus, according to Eurofer estimates, under the Inflation Control Act, the American steel industry will be able to receive at least $85 billion for the implementation of climate projects.

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