Tata Steel plan to go green will need €3 billion from the state

The Tata Steel overshadows the beach. Photo: DutchNews.nl

The government is considering injecting billions of euros into reducing the environmental impact of the Tata steelworks in IJmuiden, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday. 

Economic affairs minister Micky Adriaansens is planning to meet Tata management “within a couple of weeks” to discuss the conditions for the investment, which, according to calculations by an advisory committee, could be as much as €3 billion. 

The two-man committee looked at five scenarios to deal with the problems caused by the steelworks, ranging from closing the plant to opening a completely new factory. For example, should Tata close, it will cost some €12 billion to clean the polluted ground and €1 billion in social costs such as unemployment benefits. Forcing the plant to close would cost €16 billion.

Tata Steel’s own plan to go green – which ministers prefer – will require between €500 million and €2 billion by 2030, but that will cost more if the deadline for change is brought forward from 2030, the report shows. 

The figures, which were published by accident and photographed by website Nu.nl, are “rough estimates”, Adriaansens said. 

Concerns about the health impact of the steel works have been mounting and there are several court cases underway. Last September, public health institute RIVM said there is a direct link between emissions from the plant and the health of people who live in the locality. 

In addition, the biggest benefit to the health of people living in the IJmond region would be to reduce their exposure to pollution from Tata Steel, the RIVM said. 

The claim is based on a string of reports on the link between emissions from the plant and public health. For example, 80% of Wijk aan Zee residents experience smell, dust and noise nuisance from the plant and their life expectancy is 2.5 months lower because of this, the RIVM said. 

Tata Steel Nederland has a direct workforce of some 11,000, of whom 9,000 work in IJmuiden, but provides work for thousands more in spin-off industries.

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