The European Steel Association (Eurofer) has urged the European Commission to provide improved measures under its sustainable finance legislation for EU steelmakers that are looking to decarbonize.
The association indicated in a media statement on Apr 26 that while it welcomes the EU’s current adoption of sustainable finance, the mechanism must not lead to investment leakage, which could impact the EU steel industry’s competitiveness in the global market.
Axel Eggert, director general at Eurofer, said that the common EU rule for sustainable finance could prove to be beneficial if it were implemented correctly since the European steel industry plays an integral role in transforming the EU into a carbon-neutral economy.
He added that the present structure of this legislation, which relies on a single reference value rather than basing the financing on different steel processes, could risk a successful implementation of steel projects that had the potential to reduce emissions significantly, including hydrogen and electric arc furnace projects.
As an alternative, Eurofer has recommended that weaving in the measures related to projects such as gauging a steelmaker’s on-site energy efficiency projects, for example, into the overall outlay would lead to better results through sustainable financing.
According to the association, EU steelmakers plan to reduce their carbon emissions by 30pc over the next decade and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Eurofer estimates a total turnover of €170bn per year from this industry, which produces around 160mn mt of steel annually.