Steel Industry State Aid Examples.

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Steel Sector State Aid Support

steel industry state aid

Recent examples of government funding support


EU state aid rules allow competitiveness enhancing support to viable steel companies but do not allow public aid to steel manufacturers in financial difficulties. Nor do they allow government support that gives a steelmaker an advantage over its competitors (although aid for environmental protection or research and development is normally allowed). Regional aid and support for plant closure are also prohibited in the steel sector. The table below lists some examples where government support was considered and / or approved by the European Commission.


YearCountryCompanyFacilityProject TypeAid €m
1995AustriaVoest Alpine Erzberg GmbHErzbergOp losses & mine closure29.7
2010AustriaVoestalpine StahlLinzClean up support146
2006BelgiumDufercoWallonia-based firmsShare purchases211
2023BelgiumArcelorMittalGhentDecarbonisation280
1998BulgariaKremikovtsi SteelKremikovtsi SteelCapex support222
2013Czech RepublicArcelorMittalNova HutEnvironmental protection15
2002FinlandImatraImatra Steel Oy AbEnvironmental upgrade1
2023FranceArcelorMittalDunkirkDecarbonisation850
2023GermanyArcelorMittalDuisburgDecarbonisationn/a
2023GermanyArcelorMittalHamburgDemonstration plant55
2025GermanyArcelorMittalBremen and Eisenhüttenstadt Decarbonisation1300
2023GermanySalzgitterSalzgitterDecarbonisation1000
2023GermanyThyssenkruppProject tkH2SteelDecarbonisation2000
2024GermanyStahl Holding SaarSaarstahl and DillingerDecarbonisation2600
2023HungaryDunaferrDunaferrEmployment costs42
1996IrelandIrish SteelHaulbowlineRestructuring aid50
2015ItalyIlvaTarantoLoan subsidy plus capex2000
2023ItalyAcciaierie d’ItaliaDRI d’ItaliaPilot plant35
2009LatviaLiepajas MetalurgsLiepajasLoan guarantee89
2021PolandJastrzebska Spolka WeglowaJSK KoksCapex support14
2023PolandJastrzebska Spolka WeglowaJSW PlantEnergy cost support4
1994PortugalSiderurgia NacionalSeixalBF closure, new EAF306
2003RomaniaMittal SteelPetrotubDebt forgiveness26
2023SlovakiaUSSKKosiceDecarbonisation300
2023SloveniaSlovenian Steel GroupSIJ AcroniEnergy costs1
2023SloveniaSlovenian Steel GroupSIJ Metal RavneEnergy costs1
2022SpainCelsaCelsa SpainBusiness rescue550
2023SpainArcelorMittalGijonDecarbonisation450
2022SwedenH2GSBoden plantGreen steelECA g'tees
2022SwedenHYBRITPilot plantsGreen steel143
2021United KingdomCelsaCardiffEnergy efficiency3
2023United KingdomTata SteelPort TalbotDecarbonisation580
2024United KingdomBritish SteelScunthorpe & TeessideDecarbonisation345
Table above last updated 7th February 2024. All listings are based on information from public sources.


Notes

  1. EC approval of Portuguese Government support for Siderurgia Nacional's blast furnace closure / EAF investment at Seixal in 1994 was conditional on the workforce being reduced by 1798 employees by the end of 1996.
  2. 1995 aid to Voest Alpine Erzberg comprised ATS 272m (Euro 19.8m) to cover operating losses [operating aid] plus ATS 136m (Euro 9.9m) for closure of iron ore mines in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner [closure aid], thus ATS 408m (Euro 29.7m) state aid in total.
  3. Aid to Irish Steel was equivalent to IEP 29 million. Calculation above assumes exchange rate of Euro 1.27 per Irish punt.
  4. Legality of the debt relief given to the Mittal Steel Roman seamless tube plant (Petrotub) was subsequently questioned by the European Commission in 2007.
  5. Kremikovtsi went bankrupt in August 2008. The Bulgarian government then initiated proceedings to recover the aid, as part of the liquidation proceedings.
  6. Wallonia firms involved in the 2006-2011 government support included Duferco Clabecq, Duferco La Louviere and Carsid. This aid was subsequently declared to have been illegal.
  7. Environmental support for ArcelorMittal Nova Hut in Ostrava in 2013 was for an upgrade of the sinter plant dedusting equipment. Distortion of competition because of this aid was expected to be limited.
  8. Year 2015 government support to Ilva was subsequently challenged: the European Commission deemed that some of this aid had been illegal and in 2017 requested Ilva to repay €84 million of interest subsidy.
  9. Year 2022 rescue of Celsa Spain was dependent on creditor approvals (Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank).
  10. 2023 Salzgitter support is for the firm's SALCOS project, involving investment in new electrolyser and DRI-based EAF.
  11. Dunaferr went into liquidation in December 2022. Some questions appear to hang over the legality of state support given by the Hungarian government, to cover wage costs in early 2023. Some press reports also question whether recent ETS-related fines of around €600m should have been waived by the Hungarian Government.
  12. Aid for USSK's decarbonisation project is to be provided under the European Union's Recovery and Resilience Plan.
  13. Condemnation arose of the 2023 aid for SIJ Group subsidiaries in Slovenia arose, when it transpired that the parent company had approved a dividend of Euro €5.8m.
  14. Year 2023 undertaking from the UK Government to Tata Steel was to grant up to GBP 500 million for the transition of Port Talbot in South Wales to low carbon steelmaking. Total project cost was estimated at GBP 1.25 billion.
  15. Q4 2023 discussions between the UK Government and British Steel centre on closure of Scunthorpe blast furnaces and investment in new EAF facilities at Scunthorpe and at Teesside. Talks with China's Jingye Group were still ongoing in November 2023. Unions expressed concern about the potential for 2000 job losses.
  16. Celsa UK support was a grant towards a static VAR compensator for the high voltage EAF in their Cardiff melt shop.

Funding Agencies

Agencies involved in the above State Aid included the following.

  • EU Recovery & Resilience Plan
  • European Investment Bank
  • European Post-Covid Recovery Fund
  • Polish Government Environmental Fund
  • The Spanish PERTE programme
  • The UK Industrial Energy Transformation Fund

For short overview of the rules concerning public aid for the steel sector, see presentation from DG Competiiton.

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