THE STEELMAKING giant U.S. Steel Global Holdings, the Netherlands-based parent company of the U.S. Steel Košice plant, has agreed to cease its pending arbitration dispute against Slovakia concerning the country’s introduction of fees on electric power even when produced and consumed by the company itself.
The fees allegedly violated the agreement on mutual protection of investments between Czechoslovakia and The Netherlands, and also impacted U.S. Steel Košice’s own power plant, which produces power to cover its own needs.
Now, U.S. Steel has halted the arbitration, a decision greatly influenced by the adoption of European Action Plan for Steel, which the European Commission (EC) pushed through and which allegedly discusses the need re-evaluate and resolve the issue of high energy costs in the EU.
U.S. Steel cited the “significant progress” made last year at both the EU and the national level regarding the strategic importance of the steel industry to the European and Slovak economies and the impact of high-energy processes on the competitiveness of the European steel industry as the reasons for deciding to end the arbitration. At the EU level this is mainly the Steel Action Plan, the EC plan for a competitive and sustainable steel industry in Europe. Slovakia has recently become the first EU member to adopt some of the measures proposed in the plan, U.S. Steel noted in a press release.
“We are encouraged by this progress and will continue to work in earnest with the Slovak and EU policy and decision makers to efficiently implement the actions called for in the Steel Action Plan to ensure a sustainable future for the steel industry in Slovakia and the EU,” U.S. Steel Košice spokesperson Ján Bača wrote.
Source: Press release
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
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