Beltrame sees EU funds, green policies to sustain steel market recovery

European steel merchant bar producer AFV Beltrame Group forecast for 2023 a consolidation of the 2021 volumes to 2.2 million-2.3 million mt of finished products, Carlo Beltrame, head of business development and the CEO of France and Romania, told S&P Global Commodity Insights March 28.

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan is the instrument that, using Next Generation Europe funds, will make Italy more sustainable and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions within the EU, of which 37.5% of the plan will support climate objectives and 25.1% will support the digital transition, he spoke on phone during his roadshow to present the company’s low-carbon emission green product Chalibria.

“At the moment, the market is very quiet because the demand is low not only in Italy but also across Europe due to the high interest rates that are slow due to the high interest rates. I think that as soon as we see the EC funds being used, the situation will change in both the private and public sectors. Companies that can provide low-carbon products to the market will do particularly well,” Beltrame said.

The Merchant Bar Europe Domestic monthly went down since the beginning of the year to Eur820/mt delivered from Eur885/mt delivered, with prices that have been stable since February, according to S&P Global data. The Platts TSI Northwest Europe Rebar prices registered a similar path, beginning January from Eur745/mt to Eur710mt base ex-works March 22.

Back in November, Beltrame announced the production of Chalibria. The company at the moment is doing a roadshow in Italy, France, Romania and Switzerland where it has steel production sites. On March 28, the company did a large event in Italy.

Beltrame aims to reduce its CO2 emissions (Scoop 1+2) by 40% by 2030 and to achieve this it has defined a Eur200 million ($185 million) decarbonization plan with a roadmap to accelerate the transition toward climate neutrality.

“Through Chalibria we want to convey the group’s sustainability strategy. The green evolutions at a European level are so fast, the changes so rapid that we need to respond promptly. We are working on this as a company and at the moment we are already the first producer in France to comply with the law against greenwashing, thank you to our zero-emission certified steel,” Beltrame said, although he underlined that the Beltrame Group’s activities are already well below average international and European sectors, reaching 570 kgCO2/mt of rolled steel.

Beltrame produces steel via the electric arc furnace route. “I believe that as EAF producers, we need to focus on Scope 2 and 3, for this reason, we bought hydroelectric plans whose closing will be in May as well as the already announced construction of a photovoltaic park in Targoviste.”

Beltrame confirmed that the 70-55 MW park in Targoviste should be ready to be operative by late October.

In March 2022, Beltrame bought the special steel producer Romania-based Targoviste (COS) for Eur33.3 million to transform COS Targoviste into an important production unit, investing Eur100 million to revamp the mill.

“In April, we will start production in COS and we will produce 15.000 mt of rebars every month and then 20,000 mt a month from 2024,” Beltrame told S&P Global.

Carlo Beltrame also updated about plans to build a 600,000 mt/year greenfield steel plant in Romania and a 100 MW solar power farm.

“We are very much focused also on this project. We have submitted to Romania’s government our environmental impact assessment and we are waiting for the authorizations while in parallel we are working with the creditor’s banks,” he added.

— Annalisa Villa