The UK’s battered steel industry has been given a boost after two under-threat steel plants were offered a four-and-half-year reprieve from costly European Union regulations that could have put them out of business.
Steel plants in Scunthorpe and Port Talbot will now be given until the middle of 2019 to meet the requirements, known as the Industrial Emissions Directive, staving off further expenditure for an industry squeezed by falling global steel prices.
The rules originally forced plants to comply with stringent emission regulations by the start of 2016, threatening to sink them due to the heavy spending required on new kit to bring them up to scratch
The two plants that won the reprieve – owned by steel giant Tata – have also been shielded by the Government from rules from the Environment Agency forcing them to upgrade their emissions-saving kit.
The Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, will travel to Brussels to meet with European Commission officials to plead for a variety of measures to help the UK industry, including firmer action on Chinese steel makers flooding the UK with cheap steal. […]
UK Steel has asked the Government to help fix five key areas, including more time to comply with emissions targets and action on China’s steel dumping.
Higher energy prices and business rates paid by steel producers compared with their European neighbours are also areas where UK Steel said more can be done.