Bratislava, May 14 (TASR) – There is no other way to help the U.S. Steel Kosice steelworks than through decarbonisation, that is the replacement of blast furnaces with electric ones, Vice-premier and Finance Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) said at a press conference on Friday, where he informed about the results of the talks in Pittsburgh.
According to finance minister, the replacement of the furnaces would reduce the emissions of the steelworks by more than 80 percent, but it would be a huge investment (about €1.5 billion), so it’s appropriate to talk about whether the steel mills should receive assistance from the Recovery Fund or other sources.
“We all know that U.S. Steel Kosice is the economic leader of eastern Slovakia, it is a stronghold of employment in Kosice and its surroundings,” said Matovic, adding that the steelworks have been operating in Slovakia for 23 years. However, the steel market is currently under great pressure and steel companies around the world are running into red numbers and many have gone bankrupt.
It is the change in the method of steel production in this company in eastern Slovakia that can help fulfil Slovakia’s commitment to reduce emissions.
According to Matovic, the goal of his working trip was to agree with the parent company of the Kosice steelworks whether the state and the company would embark on such an investment. “Only then will we look for opportunities,” noted the vice-premier. Thus, the decision has not yet been made and he did not want to comment on the specific offer of the state to the company or the amounts, because he is bound by confidentiality. However, as he concluded, either the state together with the company must undertake such an investment, or steel production in eastern Slovakia will probably gradually cease to exist.