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NZ Steel seeks Negotiated Greenhouse Agreement

04 August 2005

New Zealand Steel seeks Negotiated Greenhouse Agreement

As part of ongoing efforts to cut emissions of greenhouse gas, to protect jobs and the international competitiveness of New Zealand Steel, the government and the company today announced that they are to enter talks for a Negotiated Greenhouse Agreement (NGA).

“Climate change is direct threat to New Zealand's economy, environment and way of life,” says Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change Pete Hodgson.

"Those firms that engage with the NGA process recognise the need to take action on climate change at the same time as structuring their operations to remain competitive in a world that now prices emissions. I'm pleased to acknowledge New Zealand Steel's leadership in this regard."

Firms that obtain a NGA receive exemptions to the carbon tax in return for moving to world's best practice in emissions management. Firms of any size whose international competitiveness might otherwise be at risk from the carbon tax can apply.

According to Bill Jacob, President of New Zealand Steel: “New Zealand Steel is part of BlueScope Steel which operates in Australia, USA and Asia as well as New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. In order to compete in these worldwide markets, performance has to be controlled to best international standards. New Zealand Steel has invested heavily in environmental control equipment and an NGA will provide a stable base for future operations and growth.”

The government has already signed NGAs with gold mining company OceanaGold and the New Zealand Refining Company. It is in negotiations with ACI Glass Packaging, Carter Holt Harvey, Fletcher Building, New Zealand Aluminium Smelters, Newmont Waihi, and Norske Skog Tasman.

The government recently announced a streamlining of the NGA process to reduce the time and costs involved. A pilot grants package is being rolled out for smaller energy intensive firms and sectors to help them offset the cost of the carbon tax.

ENDS

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