Dutch may pay as much as €3 billion to clean up Tata Steel plant – ET Infra

The Netherlands may contribute as much as €3 billion ($3.26 billion) for the green transformation of Tata Steel Ltd.’s IJmuiden factory, which has caused serious health and environmental problems in the surrounding area.

The Dutch parliament late Tuesday approved providing an unspecified amount of subsidies to the company to accelerate the renovation. External consultants estimate subsidies could reach €3 billion, according to a spokesperson for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate.

Europe’s second-largest steel plant — one of the Netherlands’ top industrial employers — has been linked with elevated lung cancer rates and reduced life expectancy in the local area. It has been fined multiple times for emitting toxic raw cokes. Cokes, an essential ingredient in steel, are made by heating coal in the absence of air.

Negotiations with Tata Steel to reach an agreement on the funding have started, but the process is confidential and the ministry can’t comment on the financial size of the subsidy yet, the ministry spokesperson said.

Tata is “pleased with the broad support” from the Dutch parliament to make the steelworks more sustainable, according to Tata Steel spokesman Peter van Boesschoten. The company declined to comment on the subsidy amount.

“Apart from the money we will put in our Green Steel plan ourselves, we will need government support, just like our competitors in Germany, Belgium and France, to establish a European level playing field as much as possible,” Van Boesschoten said.

The hazardous emissions from Tata Steel’s Dutch plant have been controversial for some time, but cleaning the plant up requires expensive upgrades. The government has taken a lenient approach toward regulating it for many years, fearing intervention could cost thousands of jobs.

  • Published On Jun 5, 2024 at 03:59 PM IST

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