Bureaucratic delays threaten support for transition: Eurofer

European Resilience Fund money, meant to support investment by steelmakers into cleaner technology, could no longer be available when steelmakers need it, according to Eurofer.

The so-called RRF fund requires the project be implemented by 2026, which is too short notice for the timeline used in building big plants. “Equipment suppliers say they cannot deliver such plants before 2026,” Eurofer director general Axel Eggert said on the sidelines of “The Future of EU Industry” conference in Brussels attended by Kallanish earlier this month. “We are losing €1 billion [$1.1 billion] because of that.”

The system is caught between the RRF’s expiry date, technology suppliers’ delivery schedules and delays in implementation of relevant legislation at EU member level (see separate story). Eggert gave the example of a case in which a supplier cannot deliver the equipment earlier than 2027, meaning that one mill already granted €1 billion is now at risk of losing it. “We do not need more money, but we need better coordination,” Eggert maintained.

Another issue is that EU members seem to favour decarbonisation in principle but do not make it a prerequisite in their own public tenders. “In this sense, there is a huge contradiction,” Eggert said, adding that 40% of all spending in the EU is public. If EU public procurement legislation included references to green products, this would allow for the creation of lead markets for green steel/green products in the EU, he concluded.

Christian Koehl Germany