Bluescope boss says Australian energy costs a “tragedy” for manufacturing

steel

With the recent announcement that Bluescope is expanding its North Star steelmaking operations in the US with a AT$1.03 billion investment, Bluescope chief executive Mark Vassella has labelled Australia’s high energy costs a “tragedy” for local manufacturing.

“Our energy costs are a third in the US of what they are in Australia, which is crazy, when you think about how blessed we are in this country. We need more supply, we need more suppliers, we’ve said that consistently,” Mr Vassella said.

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He added that while energy costs in Australia aren’t rising as fast as they were, they’re still too high.

“You think about a $1 billion investment that we’re making in North America, at a third of the energy costs that we incur in Australia, that’s a tragedy quite frankly for Australian manufacturing. So we’ll continue to push and agitate for more supply and more suppliers in this country to try and get our energy costs back to some sort of level of international competitiveness,” he said.

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Mr Vassella said Bluescope continues to be attracted to the US as a place to build the business, with steel from the mill being used by American car makers and in the American construction industry.