Friday, March 28, 2014

News: Tata Steel welcomes energy measures

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Tata Steel Europe has welcomed the measures to cut energy bills for manufacturers that were announced in the government's recent budget.

The Indian-owned steelmaker, that operates sites in Rotherham, has been leading the call for the government to create a level playing field when it comes to energy policy. Energy costs remain a significant element of the costs of the Foundation Industries such as steelmaking with evidence that they are higher than those facing competitors operating in other countries.

The government accepts the need to compensate these industries and announced plans to extend the compensation for energy intensive industries for the cost of the Carbon Price Floor (CPF) (a carbon tax) and EU emissions trading system to 2019-20. It is also set to introduce a new compensation scheme, to help energy intensive industries with higher electricity costs resulting from the renewables obligation and small-scale feed in tariffs for renewable generation, from 2016-17.

Karl Koehler, cief executive of Tata Steel's European operations (pictured, left), said: "The measures announced in the Budget to introduce relief against the rapidly rising costs of energy taxes, which pose a very real risk to Britain's foundation industries, are extremely welcome. The Government has listened to the concerns of the foundation industries by introducing a limit on these costs – particularly the Renewables Obligation – after they have peaked over the next two years.

"These measures are a clear and meaningful contribution to forging a more competitive and sustainable future for our UK steelmaking sites, which employ 18,000 people directly and several times that number indirectly. Such a contribution is vital in the face of European demand that remains well below pre-crisis levels. We will seek to work closely with the Government to secure EU approval for the measures quickly so that we can feel the impact of last week's announcements as soon as possible."

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP (pictured, second left), added: "I want Britain to manufacture things so we build a resilient economy. So, listening to industry, at the Budget I announced a package to cut the cost of manufacturing, with particular support for our energy intensive industries worth £7 billion.

"I want to ensure our manufacturers are not priced out of international competition. I also want to give assurance to companies like Tata Steel and the 18,000 people working for them that this Government is on the side of the makers. Which is why I'm pleased that Tata Steel has welcomed the support in Budget – which they believe will help secure the competitive future of UK steelmaking."

Tata Steel Europe website

Images: HM Treasury

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