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« The Bob-bot strikes again | Main | Jolly green giants toppled »
Wednesday
Apr062016

Putting the boot in - Josh 365

From the GWPF site:

To reduce CO2 emissions, the EU plans to cut emissions rights for the steel industry. According to the industry, this policy threatens its very existence.

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (133)

I wish people would stop forgetting about Scunthorpe it's as big as Port Talbot and has a lot of stuff in the order book

Gupta will probably end up making steel in Scunthorpe and transporting it to be remelted in the Port Talbot electric Arc furnaceif he does build one

Apr 6, 2016 at 5:55 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Scrap Metal,

Thank you for the replies. It seems more flytipping of scrap iron, abandoned car, and supermarket shopping trolleys with 3 wonky wheels.

Our Green and pleasant land, complete with dark useless satanic windmills. Hardly Jerusalem is it?

Apr 6, 2016 at 6:56 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@golf charlie, Apr 6, 2016 at 2:08 PM

What I am not so sure about, can somebody advise please, is what happens to scrap iron now? If scrap iron (and other metals?) currently gets thrown into UK steelworks for recycling, will we now end up with piles of unwanted scrap iron, because it is not economic to ship it to China?

GC, they are many smelters able to recycle scrap metal all over the UK.

For automotive & unsorted scrap metal the smelters used are often similar to a crude oil refinery. Temperature is slowly raised and as each metal reaches melting point that fraction is drained off.


GC and others looking for more insight and information on late C20 onwards steel making and the financial and economic aspects see:

Tata Steel: Not The Gotterdammerung For Steel, Just The Twilight For Blast Furnaces

and the Guardian article Forbes links to.

P

Apr 6, 2016 at 7:17 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

Through my work. (A contractor for Tata in Port Talbot. I have been told that things are looking positive. People are interested in buying PT Steelworks. Another piece of news, is that if the Government allows the PT Steelworks to close it will no longer be a G8 Nation. That's why they are panic stricken over these events. Even though Tata told UKGov months ago that they were looking at pulling out of the UK.

Apr 6, 2016 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonJ

If that G8 claim is correct, it proves monumental economic incompetence.

Do I detect a carefully planned attack on rich boys Call-me and coakayne is mon nom de nez?

More popcorn supplies immédiatement.

Apr 6, 2016 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

SimonJ, NCC: A quick search of the interweb suggests that the G8 claims originate from Stephen Kinnock (Labour MP for Aberavon) - I wouldn't give it much credibility as he's been waffling on about it for nearly a year.

Apr 6, 2016 at 8:35 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Ah, Stephen Pillock.

That explains a lot.

Apr 6, 2016 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

NCC: I suspect that he's setting out his stall to get an EU Commissionership like mummy and daddy.

Apr 6, 2016 at 9:13 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Rahul he'll haha, Rana damn sock.
=========================

Apr 6, 2016 at 9:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Pcar, thank you for the update.

Apr 6, 2016 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

What concerns me most about Gupta and Liberty's bid for Port Talbot is his link to the Swansea Tidal Lagoon project. Steel making is a 24/7 operation that needs an energy supply that is cheap and 24/7 reliable. Even if the STL project goes ahead, it will probably be producing electricity at a cost higher than Hinkley, and it won't be 24/7.

Apr 6, 2016 at 10:19 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

stewgreen @ Apr 6, 2016 at 4:31 PM |

Arrium owes banks approx. $A2 billion. For some reason (probably the price of chinese steel) the banks aren't keen on lending any more.
The mine is inland from the steel plant but ore is easily railed in.
South Australia has the highest electricity prices in Australia (and the highest percent renewables), the highest water costs, the greatest amount of red tape and the dumbest politicians in Australia. I am not kidding about the last, they would thrash your lot in any contest for dumbest politician).
Our State Treasurer says that if Arrium closes "it will be the banks fault" - standard waffle except he seems to believe it and that the Federal Gov. should send loads of money (because the State is almost bankrupt).

Apr 6, 2016 at 11:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

Salopian, what about an idea of sheer genius? In Wales, they have black mucky stuff that everybody is frightened to
name, called coal. According to ancient records, which are supposed to be kept top secret, you can burn coal, and through primitive technology, actually make lots of reliable electricity.

What about scrapping the tidal lagoon, reopening some coal mines, building one of these old fashioned fossil fuel power station, powering a steelworks with that, and selling any surplus electricity to people who value reliable power?

Some people will even get jobs doing proper work, rather than telling people how great unreliable power is.

Apr 6, 2016 at 11:37 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

My home, as well as the home of every single person I know, is made out of coconut shells. It's a denier's nightmare come true.

Apr 6, 2016 at 11:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

@Salopian, Apr 6, 2016 at 10:19 PM

Even if the STL project goes ahead, it will probably be producing electricity at a cost higher than Hinkley, and it won't be 24/7.

Last time I checked and posted about a month ago the Swansea Tidal Farce cost per unit was more than double the cost of white elephant Hinkley C. iirc ~195 vs ~85

P

Apr 6, 2016 at 11:43 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

GC, 11:37pm:

Noooo, you can't do that.

The Welsh Assembly (Labour) in cahoots with Plaid Cyrmu and the welsh Greenies have decreed that the black mucky stuff is evil and must not be removed from underground in case it upsets the green faeries.

The result is that the steam-driven heritage railways in Wales (which make up most of those within the UK), have to import most of their coal from Poland, despite that being far inferior to Welsh steam coal.

Apr 7, 2016 at 12:02 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

gc:

Aberthaw power station runs these days on a combination of imported biomass (tiny amount) and coal picked from the spoil heaps in the Welsh valleys.

http://www.rwe.com/web/cms/en/97594/rwe-npower/about-us/our-businesses/power-generation/aberthaw/

Apr 7, 2016 at 12:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Ayla, thats lovely.Can you smell the sea, when you put a coconut shell to your ear?

I know if you hold a bowl of Coco-Pops, right up close to your ear, you can hear someone ask if you are going to clear up the mess.

Apr 7, 2016 at 12:12 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Salopian, does that mean that Poland has got a special pesticide for Green Faeries? Or does Poland just give them as much vodka as they can drink, and wait for them to come up with an intelligent idea?

Apr 7, 2016 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Yee guys are asking the wrong questions.
The real question is how London can obtain the european and indeed world industrial surplus for free.
It therefore has no need for industrial activity in its old grey belt that is now very much it's green belt.

The willing to work for purchasing power thingy is a quaint but a obsolete sentiment.
To get young taffy digging coal again

All of the UK should ask " please sir, can I have some more free stuff"
It will be a impractical statement (especially for the South east)
Therefore it will bring the current absurd supply chain to a head.
Which in the long run can only be a good thingy.

Under current circumstances London is happy to drive up domestic costs (inflation) as it is in its interests
Perhaps today's grey belt (Germany) will be tomorrow's green belt.
Maybe thats the strategic plan.
To keep expanding outwards.
I doubt if they can industrialise Mars though.
I hear it's closer this time of year.

Apr 7, 2016 at 12:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

This is yet another brilliant cartoon coming to us from Josh! The EU is putting the boot into everything, not just steel. The EU particularly hates democracy and human rights. However it looks after its cronies, supporters and itself in a big way.

Apr 7, 2016 at 2:18 AM | Unregistered Commenternicholas tesdorf

Geez, nicholas tesdorf, don't hold back.

Go Trump?

Apr 7, 2016 at 4:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

The news today the the Dutch have rejected EU expansion is a bellwether to the future. Port Talbot is probably going to be cut to <30% of its workforce with the promise that Swansea tidal lagoon electricity, double the planned energy cost of the new Hinkley Point nuke, i.e. 4x current grid cost, will power new arc furnaces. They won't be built either.

The clear aim is to use Port Talbot as a grant/carbon offset play with the Welsh people being shafted. I can't see them voting for the EU or their supine Stephen Pillock, whose aim of Aberavon as an EU power base is thankfully at an end. As for Call-me and Osborne, they are toast as well, for the same reasons. They never saw it coming so have failed.

The only way the Tory government can survive is by putting people in charge of energy who understand the technologies. The present sticking plaster of bribing power generators to keep open old plant can only last 1 year and has a very high risk factor due to no preventative maintenance. After all, who would invest for a year?

Apr 7, 2016 at 8:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

@Pcars link goes to a new article by Tim Worstall
his theory is that Europe has enough scrap steel,
I’m really not sure about that.

He says that am American corp went for the idea of close the iron to steelmaking side of their business and just built new electric arc furnaces, but they only just nearing completion.
-----------------

Meanwhile in Australia "Arrium convened a board meeting and, just before dawn on Thursday, the business was delivered to administration but not to the future with McGrathNicol that the bankers had planned for. " @FinancialReview..aso onmn ABC webnews

The FR also put forward the theory that Arrium shoul have closed it's blast furnaces years ago.

I say Iron making has been profitable in the past
...and where is all the scrap steel to feed EAF (electric arc furnaces) going to come from ?
In the UK from old vehicles, tin cans and the odd oil rig... but ship dismantling is done in cheap Asia
- If you close half a steel plant then you do have a lot of scrap to begin with, But It'll be 15 years on average before today's windturbines come in as scrap.

A quick internet stat "Total steel production in 2008 reached 1.3 billion tonnes, of which over 500 million tonnes were made from scrap metal."

Apr 7, 2016 at 9:12 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

What the blinkered, moronic green zealots fail to recognise is that steel needs making somewhere to satisfy demand.
And what their crazed, suicidal, democracy and job-hating policies have done is to export steel production from the emissions controlled West to the emissions control free area that is China.

And this says nothing of shipping the steel all the way back on fossil-fuelled ships.

Of course the lying green bar-stewards would have you believe these ships are solar and wind-powered.

Apr 7, 2016 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&Twisted

BREXIT! ... Or death by a thousand cuts.

Apr 7, 2016 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

The Local rag : Five verdicts on Sanjeev Gupta's plan to rescue Tata's Port Talbot plant

Some quotes
“Two traditional blast furnaces like those at Port Talbot working flat out can produce 92,000 tonnes of steel a week while similar arc furnaces would produce an estimated 10,000 tonnes."

"It’s worth noting that Celsa, using an arc furnace in Cardiff haven’t made a profit since 2008 I think.’"

Apr 7, 2016 at 10:15 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Interesting article in the Times by a lawyer (sorry behind paywall), UK Govt can't subsidise Port Talbot as the EU will stop it but they can't admit it before the Brexit vote or hand the argument over. They can nationalise it but even then cannot inject any funds that amount to a subsidy.


'Already this year the EC has opposed state subsidies in Belgium and Italy, says Ross Denton, of Baker & McKenzie. “In the case of the Belgian company Duferco, the Commission said that subsidies provided by the Region of Wallonia to the company between 2006 and 2011 were illegal and must now be repaid,” '

Apr 7, 2016 at 10:21 AM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

stewgreen, we should scrap windturbines before they fail disastrously, to feed the scrap metal industry.

Apr 7, 2016 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Sorry if this has been noted already, but one of the largest Australian steel makers, Allium, announced this week that it would be closing, leaving Bluescope as the remaining 'bigger' operator.
The reasons seem to include the main reasons for UK shut downs, including green pressure to leave all coal in the ground.
It is hard to fathom reason among the stupidity and lack of comprehension of consequences of armchair experts pushing the 'coal in the ground' meme.

Apr 7, 2016 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

I used to live, was born and brought up, in the steel making areas of Sheffield and Rotherham. But then they were thriving, we had a war to win and they worked 24/7 throughout using open hearth furnaces. By the end of the war the plant, like the railways was clapped out. We did not have the money to invest, having the war debt to pay so that France and Germany could be rebuilt, so our factories suffered. Then we got socialism and nationalisation, which we could not afford.Then came the iron and steel agreement, the start of the EEC leading us to the EU. A very large electric arc Bessemer converter was built to replace the thirteen open hearth ones, with tons of pure Oxygen piped in making the steel process much faster. It is now a museum so I doubt that there will be many arc furnaces in that area.
But, this was prior to the Clean Air Act of the fifties which poses a slight problem - Throughout the war there really was pollution from industry, bombing, ack ack fire and yet I do not recall it becoming hotter. Yes the snow did not lie very long, but the dust would do that, we had cold winters and warm to hot summers but nothing out of the ordinary. So why is CO2 now so dangerous at 0.04%?

Apr 7, 2016 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterDerek Buxton

That boot is so green, d'ya think it's a Doc Martian?

Apr 7, 2016 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

@ Derek Buxton:

A Bessemer Converter is not an electric arc furnace. In 1964 I was a shift metallurgist in the Bessemer plant at Corby!

PS these used an air blast. Modern converters do use oxygen but that innovation came about in the 1980s.

Apr 7, 2016 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Derek Buxton, CO2 is highly dangerous at 00.04% because climate scientists said so.

To date, they have failed to prove it. Which is why they keep having to specualte about how bad things could be.

Apr 7, 2016 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Given your dealing with people whose worship the idea of a return to some mythic pre-industrial past this is no surprise at all .
In their world anything but 'cottage' industries are bad , so steel is 'very bad ' indeed .

Apr 7, 2016 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr

Another quote (from an academic) from the Stewgreen link above:

“Whilst we might be very romantic about the prospect of steelmaking in Wales, what I don’t want to see is the mill continue to die the death of a thousand cuts for the next decade or more, with the public sector left to clean up the eventual mess, and politicians and the rest of us then hamstrung and unable to develop a positive, sustainable vision for Port Talbot and indeed the rest of post-industrial South Wales.’

There you have the greenie view of the future, a clean, green post-industrial South Wales, but how is the poor but sainted public sector going to cope with the mess left by those industrialists.

Apr 7, 2016 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

"a positive, sustainable vision for Port Talbot"

Words like this make my skin crawl.

Apr 7, 2016 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&Twisted

Bitter&Twisted

It doesn't take much then does it? Personally, you could remove "positive", or "sustainable" or both. The use of "vision" alone is often sufficient to cause creepiness to set in. The combination might cause the checking of bank balances and door closures.

Apr 7, 2016 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

@Micky
A population which depends entirely on Industrial products for its sustance is not post industrial.

The academic seems to have grave difficulty grasping the scale of current industrial operations.

Imagine a bushman.
Since the early 1980s he has given up the hunting and gathering business.
He receives food handouts from a well watered farm 100 miles south of his location.
Is he a hunter or farmer?
He is neither
He is a product of industry rather then agrarianism.
Specifically diesel trucks ability to carry large amounts of surplus industrially produced food stuff over long distances.

So he is post hunter.
He skipped the farm and went straight to industry.
You do not become post industrial.
You can travel backwards from this position but not forward.

Apr 7, 2016 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Industry produces a surplus.
Jobs are not required to eat the surplus.
Jobs become more of a social control mechanism.
The missionary who bought the surplus food from the farm gets the bushman to plant flowers or something in return for abundant carbohydrate and protein.
The bushman stands perplexed by it all.
It is difficult to instruct the bushman as he regards this activity (rightly)as pointless.
But he is hungry.
He plants the bloody flowers.

Apr 7, 2016 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

knr, we need a return to melting down lead from car batteries, at home on cookers, so that people can experience cottage industries as they used to be only a few decades ago.

Apr 7, 2016 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Yup; better to melt lead rather than swing it in our benefits' culture.

Apr 7, 2016 at 3:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

golf Charlie. Oh the joys of heavy metal poisoning! What other past benefits can you suggest from your knowledge of history and your desire to "improve" our condition?

Apr 7, 2016 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alan Kendall, when I got into scuba diving in the late 1970s, the Adjustable Buoyancy Life Jacket (ABLJ) was established as a great piece of kit that allowed you to squirt compressed air into your lifejacket during a dive to compensate for different depths (wetsuit compression) and dive duration (density of air cylinder)

The stories of divers who made their own lead weights were common, plus those who had access to 'cheap' lead, who would deliberately jettison it at depth .........

Leaving the dreaded 'bends' aside, uncontrolled buoyancy can have dire consequences, see 'Barotrauma' Wikipedia. Perhaps those who made their own lead weights, were more likely to suffer from accidents due to poor judgement.

Whether falls from height whilst obtaining cheap lead from churches roofs counts as an industrial injury in the lead 'industry' or 'recycling' as it would now be deemed, I am not sure.

I never lost a lead weight, and relied on my ABLJ!

Apr 7, 2016 at 6:19 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Scrap metal is big business, reliant on supply and demand economics. When the price of copper goes up, so does theft of copper cabling. Since the iron age, bronze age etc, man has always recycled metals. Reducing the ability to recycle scrap, will increase the amount lying around, and encourage further mining. This is another Green Blob own goal.

Apr 7, 2016 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

You are approaching a breakthrough moment gC.

Recycling metals involves substantial energy costs to collect, separate and refine the different metals. Modern goods are complex and composed of multiple metals, commonly inimately intermingled together (and with other materials like plastic). Separation thus is commonly difficult and costly. Nevertheless, recycling energy costs are always likely to be substantially *less greater than costs associated with winning and smelting new metal. Thus I do not see that we will ever reduce metal recycling, nor foresee this resulting in more mining. This excludes metals like titanium or uranium which get used up in most of their uses.

[*altered 8.30am 8.4.2016 TM]

Apr 7, 2016 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

@Pcars link goes to a new article by Tim Worstall
his theory is that Europe has enough scrap steel,
I’m really not sure about that.

He says that am American corp went for the idea of close the iron to steelmaking side of their business and just built new electric arc furnaces, but they only just nearing completion.

Where do you form that opinion from? Nucor never had blast furnaces and their first arc-furnace became productive and profitable circa 1971-73.

www.nucor.com/products

wikipedia Nucor

and where is all the scrap steel to feed EAF (electric arc furnaces) going to come from ?
In the UK from old vehicles, tin cans and the odd oil rig... but ship dismantling is done in cheap Asia
- If you close half a steel plant then you do have a lot of scrap to begin with, But It'll be 15 years on average before today's windturbines come in as scrap.

There is more than enough scrap metal in the UK to meet our needs:

Metals recycling is a multi-billion pound UK industry, employing over 8,000 people and making a net contribution to the UK’s balance of trade.

net contribution - UK exports more (by value) metal than UK imports.

Watch BBC Scrappers series. If there was not sufficient scrap for this one yard the owner would not be purchasing a GBP500,000+ shredder.

Apr 7, 2016 at 8:06 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

@Alan Kendall, Apr 7, 2016 at 7:51 PM

Recycling metals involves substantial energy costs to collect, separate and refine the different metals. Modern goods are complex and composed of multiple metals, commonly inimately intermingled together (and with other materials like plastic). Separation thus is commonly difficult and costly. Nevertheless, recycling energy costs are always likely to be substantially greater than costs associated with winning and smelting new metal.

For aluminium the total cost of recycling vs refining ore is ~10%, that is substantially less cost. iirc one recycled drink can saves more than the cost of boiling water for a cup of tea.

Separation is not difficult as metals have a little known property of different melting points and plastics burn.

Similar to how constituents of crude oil have a little known property of different boiling/vapourisation points. Hands up all who knew petrol evaporates faster than diesel.

Apr 7, 2016 at 8:22 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

Alan K:

Pcar is correct, recycling will always be cheaper than refining, because it does not involve the very energy-expensive process of calcining ores before they can be smelted.

Also, the dumping of cheap Chinese steel and the collapse of oil prices has resulted in price paid to UK councils for recycled steel cans dropping by 88%.

If the price continues to drop, then UK Councils might find it more cost-effective to send their metal recycling to landfill, and take the fines for not recycling it.

Apr 7, 2016 at 9:21 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

The miasma of the climate obsessed mind is on full display: Sacrificing a few other people's jobs, national security and billions of tax payer and rate payer money on the altar of carbon dioxide and renewable profits is nothing for the true believer.

Apr 7, 2016 at 9:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

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