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BlueScope quick to access government finance - 14 February 2012

Alongside tough regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, incentives are being made available to steelmakers to enable them to invest in more energy efficient, sustainable technologies. For information on how steel can transform itself into a more sustainable and environmentally friendly industry, see Steel Business Briefing‘s third annual Green Steel Strategies conference in Berlin on 19-20 April.


SBB 12 December On the day the Australian government’s Steel Transformation Plan (STP) officially took effect, sheet and plate producer BlueScope Steel said it would tap the scheme for A$100m (US$100m) in “assistance.” The assistance package was announced by Canberra in August to help the country’s steel producers transition to the new carbon tax due to start in July next year.

Melbourne-headquartered BlueScope noted that the STP came into effect on 9 December and it would apply for an “early advance of $100m of payments allocated to it under the STP.”

In a statement, BlueScope chief executive Paul O’Malley said the STP advance, along with a capital raising and the restructuring of the company’s Australian operations, would help it “return to profitability and growth.”

“We believe the federal government’s Steel Transformation Plan is tangible evidence of the importance the government places on having a viable, competitive and innovative domestic steel industry in this country,” he said.

BlueScope put the No.6 blast furnace at its Port Kembla works, south of Sydney, on care and maintenance in early October, along with a hot strip mill near Melbourne, as part of its strategy to exit loss-making exports.

The flat steel producer has reduced crude steel capacity to 2.6m tonnes/year, which will primarily target the domestic construction sector. However, BlueScope’s target markets of home and high-rise property construction continue to contract and much of the new large-project work in Australia uses steel imported from Asia, Steel Business Briefing notes.


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