Energy costs in the country are too high by European and international standards

Herbert Eibensteiner, CEO of Austrian steelmaker voestalpine, has called on the country’s government to extend the electricity price compensation program until 2030 to achieve the green transition goals. This is reported by Finanzen.

As voestalpine’s electricity consumption will increase significantly in the coming years due to plans to replace blast furnaces with electric arc furnaces, the extension of the law is important for the company.

Currently, the electricity price equalization law (SAG 2022) is limited to one year. The program was aimed at supporting companies at risk of carbon leakage. It provided for compensation to eligible companies by reimbursing 75% of the indirect emissions costs incurred in 2022, with payment in 2023.

Voestalpine is responsible for around 15% of Austria’s carbon dioxide emissions. That is why, as the first step of its greentec steel investment program, the company wants to replace one blast furnace each in Linz and Donavik with electric arc furnaces powered by green electricity. This should reduce CO2 emissions from steel production in Austria by 30%.

The voestalpine CEO warns that energy costs in Austria are too high by European and international standards. At the European level, he would like to see a standardized financing policy, sufficient subsidies, clear state aid legislation, and reduced bureaucratic pressure.

As GMK Center reported earlier, voestalpine placed an order at Primetals Technologies for a 180-ton Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) to be installed at the Linz plant. Its commissioning is planned for 2027. In September 2023, the company started implementation of the project from the construction of the electric arc furnace at the steel plant in Donawitz, Danieli will be responsible for the design development, production and commissioning of the EAF.