Steel maker will seek a tax-free coal allocation
ARCELORMITTAL South Africa intended to seek a “free allocation” of coal from the government if the National Treasury went ahead with its proposed carbon tax, the group’s general manager for environment, Siegfried Spanig, said this week.
The steel maker believed that because of limited alternatives to coal in steel making, the industry should be given a free allocation of coal but be liable for tax on any carbon inefficiencies above a designated global benchmark.
This would enable the group to be taxed on an issue “over which we do have some control”, Spanig said.
The Treasury has proposed a carbon tax kick in at R75 a ton of greenhouse gas emissions, rising to R200 a ton.
According to research by Deloitte & Touche, ArcelorMittal SA’s direct emissions would put its annual tax liability at R1.8 billion a year if the tax was set at R165 a ton, rising to R2.5bn including indirect emissions from buying Eskom electricity.
ArcelorMittal SA said in its 2010 integrated annual report that it did not believe it was possible for industry and business to achieve the government’s target outlined in 2009 climate talks of cutting emissions 34 percent from businessas-usual by 2020. “Nevertheless we remain fully committed to engaging with key stakeholders to refine these targets so as to arrive at something more achievable.” – Ingi Salgado