INDEPENDENT NEWS

Another Industrial Giant Goes Into Strategic Review

Published: Sat 18 Jul 2020 04:22 PM
NZ Steel is now the third large industrial company, with high numbers of employed staff, to go into a strategic review, with one of the significant contributing factors being Government regulation, says Jonathan Young, National Energy & Resources spokesperson.
NZ Aluminium Smelter and Refining NZ are both under strategic review.
The Government’s ban on new oil and gas exploration permits does nothing to ensure we have a strong supply of competitively priced natural gas, and that tightness in the market is further driving up the cost of electricity, says Young.
The Government’s recent ETS reforms also put significant cost pressures on companies which produce essential commodities like steel. While this is the design of the reforms to place a higher price on carbon, if companies like NZ Steel close, their production will most likely be replaced by overseas companies with higher levels of emissions; and all we would’ve achieved is exporting thousands of jobs, as well as having to rely on overseas companies to now supply New Zealand’s needs.
Apart from increased emissions in production because most overseas steel mills rely on coal-fired generation for their electricity; shipping transport will see emissions, with the planet being worse off.
National asked the Government to delay the introduction of their ETS reforms for a further year, so our companies can get through the economic downturn created by the Covid-19 crisis. The Government refused our request and we now see another large employing company coming under strategic review because of the regulatory uncertainty this government has created.
With so much uncertainty in the world economy, we need a sensible pathway to a lower emissions economy, one that still keeps Kiwis in their jobs.

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