Eurofer has urged the European Council (EC) to consider additional investments in the European steel industry as part of its Recovery Plan being discussed in Brussels from July 17-18.
The Recovery Plan is a massive budget being discussed by the council to provide economic stimulus to the region which has been ravaged by COVID-19 related shutdowns.
In a letter to the council, Axel Eggert, director general of Eurofer asked for clear support for steelmakers who were taking active steps to reduce carbon emissions.
Eggert said that the EC must direct a large part of its investments through the Recovery Plan to sectors such as steelmaking that witnessed a significant decline because of the pandemic, were exposed to high carbon emission risks, and were taking steps to significantly reduce those emissions over the next 10 years. He pointed out that the steelmaking sector’s green initiatives were dependent on being competitive both globally and locally.
According to the association’s estimates, under the right conditions, the European steel industry could further reduce its carbon emissions by 30pc in 2030 compared to 2018 or around 55pc when compared with 1990 emissions data.
Eggert also noted the preference for imports over domestic steel calling the trend “contrary to the interests of Europe,” since they take away the focus from the domestic steel industry’s recovery.
According to Eurofer estimates, the continent’s steel demand halved during the pandemic due to the significant fall in the activity of sectors that use the material. Additionally, 40pc of the workforce in the industry was temporarily laid off or were working reduced hours during the period. Even after the economy reopened, steel production remains 25pc down and orders have reduced by almost 35pc between March-June 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.