Carbon tax? ArcelorMittal to raise steel prices
03 December 2014
Posted by: Author: Reuters
Africa's largest steel maker, ArcelorMittal South Africa, said on Tuesday it would raise its prices if the government implements a carbon tax in 2016.
The carbon tax is one of several green laws the South African government is planning to impose on industry and consumers to try and reduce emissions, and companies are scrambling to meet deadlines for the laws.
At current carbon emission rates, Arcelor South Africa, part of the world's top steelmaker ArcelorMittal, would pay about 600 million rand ($54.5 million) of carbon taxes a year.
"As a competitive company, I am going to pass the price onto my consumers,” Chief Executive Paul O'Flaherty told Reuters on the sidelines of a news conference.
"We have to engage with each other to find out how we can work together to get the right price for the industry but also, as is our right, to make a certain amount of profit.”
The company is also under pressure from the government to reduce its steel prices, while fending off cheap imports from China which threaten to undercut its business.
The steel maker also said it would not challenge an appeal court ruling that it must hand over documents related to its largest steel plant to environmental activist group Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (VEJA).
ArcelorMittal said it had initially refused to give VEJA its assessment of the Vanderbijlpark plant's environmental impact, and the company's planned remedial action, because it was an internal working document and had become irrelevant as laws changed over the years.
Having lost its appeal, ArcelorMittal said it will send the documents within the required 14-day period.
The company has spent about 1.5 billion rand ($136 million) over the past five years to reduce the harmful impact on the environment at two of its plants, ArcelorMittal said in a statement..
This article first appeared on iol.co.za.