The closure of Corus’ Teesside Cast Products (TCP) in the UK – whether temporary or permanent, we will have to wait and see – has highlighted the value of carbon dioxide permits/credits to the European Union steel industry. SBB estimates their total current value/cost to the European steel industry at very approximately€5bn/year, depending on price etc, but the real numbers are very hard to calculate.
The UK’s Community Union, which has members at the steel plant, is calling on the UK Environment Agency to hold in trust the carbon credits for TCP, until such a time as steel making is resumed. The mothballing of the 3 million tonnes/year slab making plant has led to fears that Tata Corus will seek to sell carbon credits freely allocated to the plant.
The £250m calculation is for carbon credits over three years – 2010, 2011, and 2012. It is a gross exaggeration, as no-one knows what will happen in 2011 and 2012 – the plant may well re-open. A more reasonable estimate – by SBB – for 2010 is a few tens of milions of euros.