EU clears French and German green subsidies for top steelmakers

Frankfurt, July 20 (BNA): The European Commission has approved two major packages of support from France and Germany to support major steelmakers – ArcelorMittal and Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe respectively – in efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Thursday’s approval of 2 billion euros ($2.24 billion) in aid marks a significant milestone for ThyssenKrupp, which relies on public funding to decarbonize the steel industry, among the most carbon-intensive industrial production processes.

Apart from the Thyssenkrupp funding, which was divided into a direct grant of €550 million and a conditional payment mechanism of up to €1.45 billion, the Commission also approved an €850 million package drawn up by Paris for ArcelorMittal.

Reuters reported earlier this week that UNHCR approval of the grant could come as early as Thursday.

The move highlights Brussels’ efforts to help industry on the continent decarbonize production and remain competitive with rivals, recognizing that heavy industry is unable to fund the transition on its own.

“This will contribute to the greening of one of the most polluting sectors while helping to reduce Germany’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and develop the EU’s renewable hydrogen value chain,” said EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager.

Shares in Thyssenkrupp and ArcelorMittal rose 1.4% and 2.8%, respectively.

“It is a very important decision for climate protection and for Germany as an industrial site,” said German Economics Minister Robert Habeck, who has drawn an appeal from labor representatives for what they say is a lack of subsidies for steel.

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($1 = 0.8922 euros)


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