Follow the podcast on
The other big announcement is that one of the country's biggest greenhouse gas emitter is moving away from a coal-fired furnace to an electric arc furnace, which is kind of back to the future because numerous former workers at the Glenbrook steel mill have said we used to have one of those back in the 60s.
And they did away with it - there was no guaranteed supply of scrap metal to fuel the furnace, and I imagine an arc furnace built in 1963 is quite different to the sort of technology available in 2023.
New Zealand Steel —based in Glenbrook and owned by multinational Blue Scope— says it will be able to cut its emissions by more than 45%, and will produce 100% of its annual steel production as lower carbon steel.
It's been trumpeted by the Greens, by the Government as the largest decarbonisation project ever in New Zealand and will have benefits, they claim, for New Zealand in the long term by reducing the amount of money the New Zealand Government needs to spend offsetting emissions.
Mind you, there will need to be some benefits.
New Zealand Steel is not doing this out of the goodness of its little green heart. The Government —that is, you and me— is subsidising the transition from coal furnaces to electric to the tune of $140 million. Seems incongruous that we'd need to give a multinational company $140 mil when it made more than $2 billion globally in profits last year. Multinationals don't make billions of dollars by spending money before they have to, as New Zealand Steel Chief Executive Robin Davies told Mike Hosking this morning, they wouldn't have made this leap without the Government investment.
Looking at it, is it a good deal?
I mean quite frankly after enduring another wet, miserable, windy, rainy weekend, if reducing emissions by 5% is going to get us back to some decent weather, I’m all for it.
But seriously, as an investment, spending $140 million now in new and improved technology, recycling metal that would otherwise be sent offshore, or sent to landfill?
Looks like a good deal to me.
Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you