The first stage of decarbonization in the Netherlands involves the transition from coke production to DRI
Next year, Tata Steel’s financial performance in the Netherlands is expected to grow positively, and the company’s operations in the UK will improve after the restructuring measures are completed. This was stated in an interview with The Hindu Business Line by the company’s CEO T. V. Narendran.
According to him, for a number of reasons, the financial performance in the Netherlands has been negative for the past few quarters. However, the replacement of the lining of one of the two blast furnaces at the Eijmuiden plant has been completed, and the unit should be back in operation next week.
As for receiving a decarbonization grant from the Dutch government, Narendran said that the outlines and main provisions of the agreement are ready and are being finalized. It is also necessary to go through a consultation process before any final document is signed. The company must engage with trade unions and take into account their proposals, which is currently being done.
According to Tata Steel’s CEO, the group intends to close one blast furnace in the Netherlands and switch from coke production to gas-based DRI and electric arc furnace production in the first phase.
T.V. Narendran has not yet specified the level of investment required for the transition.
«At the moment we are not talking about it, because the issue is being discussed with the Dutch government, and once we reach a certain stage, as it was with the British government, then we will announce the details,» he noted.
The CEO of the company also believes that it is too early to comment on possible job cuts in the country.
«The Netherlands is already undergoing a restructuring that was announced two months ago. About 800 jobs have already been cut, but this will not be enough. Eventually, during the transition period, we will discuss this issue,» explained T.V. Narendran.
The capacity of Tata Steel Netherlands is estimated at 7 million tons of steel per year. The company plans to replace both blast furnaces with DRI/EAF technology by 2030.
At the same time, according to T.V. Narendran, it will take 18 months to complete the restructuring in the UK.
As GMK Center reported earlier, Tata Steel will close two blast furnaces in the UK by the end of this year. As a result, 2.8 thousand jobs will be lost, 2.5 thousand of them within the next 18 months. The closure is part of the company’s plan to reorient its UK steel business by switching to electric arc furnaces.