Monday, October 19, 2009

European Investment Bank: No loans for ArcelorMittal

ZAGREB, Croatia -- "We have recently discovered that the EIB is considering a loan for steel company ArcelorMittal and that this will be discussed by the Board of Directors this Wednesday, 21st October. ArcelorMittal has an extremely poor environmental, social and transparency record in many countries, including during projects financed by international financial institutions. As the world’s largest steel company we also believe that ArcelorMittal could access financing from other sources, and that there is no added value in providing a low-interest public loan to the company. We therefore urge the EIB not to approve any loan to ArcelorMittal in the foreseeable future,"

-- Pippa Gallop, CEE Bankwatch Network, Global Action on ArcelorMittal.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mittal dismisses pollution claims in South Africa

VANDERBIJLPARK, South Africa -- "Strike Matsepe used his life savings to buy a small plot of land near the country's biggest steel mill, hoping it would become a thriving farm in his old age. Now, weathered and sick, the 80 year old has had to abandon his dream -- the land and ground water are so polluted his cattle have died and crops failed. On Friday, ArcelorMittal SA, the world's largest steel marker, dismissed allegations of severe environmental damage and unethical business practices at the mill. In 2002, the company took over the 67-year-old plant that residents and environmental groups say has polluted their live,"

-- Celean Jacobson, Associated Press.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Mittal set to quit $20bn Indian steel project

LONDON, UK -- "Lakshmi Mittal is close to pulling out of a $20bn plan to build two large steel plants in India – the centrepiece of efforts by one of the world’s most prominent industrialists to expand in the country of his birth. Delays in persuading farmers and others to sell the land he needs for the developments in the states of Jharkand and Orissa are 'unacceptable,' the chairman and main owner of the ArcelorMittal steel company told the FT. 'If we cannot make progress in these two sites we will have to abandon the idea of starting the projects there and look for other places in India for our expansion,' Mr Mittal said,"

-- Peter Marsh, Financial Times.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lakshmi Mittal takes the pedal off the metal

Lakshmi Mittal, CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker.
LONDON, UK -- "ArcelorMittal, which didn't exist a decade ago, now accounts for 10% of global steel production. That pedal-to-the-metal growth strategy worked until a year ago when the world's economy took a dive. The company, based in Luxembourg, posted three consecutive quarterly losses, the latest at $792 million, and some analysts expect it to post another loss in the current quarter. Still Mr. Mittal says it would have been far worse if the steelmaker didn't shut mills, slash production about 35% and lay off thousands of workers,"

-- Robert Guy Matthews, Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Steelmakers hold millions of EU pollution permits

LUXEMBOURG -- "Steelmakers such as ArcelorMittal have become huge beneficiaries of the European Union's emissions trading scheme, making tens of millions of pounds out of free carbon permits, research shows. Just three plants in Belgium, Spain and Romania, all controlled by Lakshmi Mittal, Britain's richest man, are sitting on 15% of the surplus permits handed out by the EU, according to official figures obtained by the Sandbag environmental campaign group. 'The scale of the benefits enjoyed by the steel industry make it look like the ETS is being used as a hidden subsidy to the sector,' said Bryony Worthington, the founder of Sandbag. The price of carbon has plunged over the last 12 months, partly because the slowdown has reduced output and emissions, but also because the EU handed out too many free permits to industry,"

-- Terry Macalister, The Guardian.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Arcelormittal South Africa says worker dies after blast

JOHANNASBERG, South Africa -- "Arcelormittal South Africa Ltd, a unit of the world's top steelmaker, said a worker at its Vanderbijlpark plant died on Monday from injuries sustained after an explosion on Saturday, but operations had since resumed. Arcelormittal did not say how much production was lost as a result of the accident, which forced the suspension of operations at the furnace until Monday. It said it had started an investigation into the cause of the blast. The company said the fatality was its first this year following two fatalities in 2007 and two in 2008,"

-- Shapi Shacinda, Reuters.