Corus, part of the Indian Tata Steel Group, has opened a £60 million ($87.0 million) plant at its Port Talbot steelworks in Wales that will reduce the site’s CO2 emissions by 240,000 tonnes per year and dust particle emissions by 40 tonnes per year, reports the BBC. The new plant will recover by-product gas and recycle it as fuel.
The gas recovery system will cut the steelworks’ requirement for imported natural gas by around 60 percent and reduce its electricity needs from the National Grid by 15 percent, reports Wales Online.
BBC reports that Corus plants at Scunthorpe and at IJmuiden in the Netherlands, as well as at Tata’s plant at Jamshedpur in India use similar technology.
Speaking at the launch of the gas recovery system, Kirby Adams, chief executive for TATA Europe, said the proposed changes to the European emissions trading scheme (ETS) from 2013 would hurt the competitiveness of the steel industry in Europe and could cost Corus up to £500 million ($722 million) a year, including £140 million ($202 million) annually in taxes, reports Wales Online.
In January, the Alliance for a Competitive European Industry (ACEI) announced its opposition to greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions of 30 percent until other major economies agreed to make substantial and binding commitments.
The group said the EU’s climate change policy would further hurt the industry’s competitiveness, citing as an example the steel industry, which has to reduce its emissions by more than 40 percent in 2020 compared to 1990 levels due to the EU ETS.
However, a report released in March indicates that ten organizations, primarily in the steel and cement industries, including Corus, could share a surplus of €3.2 billion ($4.4 billion) of pollution permits by 2012 under the EU ETS.
The EU has said it may suspend auctions if allowance prices fall “abnormally low” as part of a plan to centralize carbon emissions allowances auctions. The plan, which will take effect in 2011, also would set up no more than two auction platforms through 2013.