EUAs become new form of state support

The idea of allocating fresh EUAs to support a project (in this case the resumption of steel production, safeguarding jobs) may be positive from the economic/commercial angle/employment, but no so constructive if the overall aim of the game is to reduce CO2 emissions, and prevent climate change.

SBB 23 March The Walloon government in Belgium is proposing to allocate 12 million tonnes in carbon credits (EUAs) to ArcelorMittal for the period 2008-2012. The offer is part of the negotiations for restarting blast furnace B in Ougrée in Liège; this was idled in May 2009 but is due to restart in mid-April.

“ArcelorMittal will carefully study the Walloon government’s decision to solve the question of CO2 allowances. This is an important step in the restart and investment plan of the liquid phase,” at the plant, an ArcelorMittal spokesman tells Steel Business Briefing.

Of these 12m t in allowances, the Walloon government has still to decide the exact annual allocation for each year between 2008 and 2012, a spokesperson from the regional environment ministry says. The region will provide these allowances in return for an agreement by the company to invest €110m in environmentally modernising the Liège plant.

ArcelorMittal initially asked the Walloon government for 20m in credits, the government spoksman also tells SBB. There is no deadline at the moment for an agreement to be signed.


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