Tuesday September 21, 2021

Gov't seeks direct state ownership in SSAB

Published : 14 Sep 2021, 23:32

  DF Report

Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen. File Photo: Finnish government by Kosti Keistinen.

The government said on Tuesday that it would take over direct control of shares in Swedish steelmaker conglomerate SSAB to help the country achieve carbon neutrality by 2035, said an official press release.

Solidium has held about six percent of the shares and eight percent of the voting rights in SSAB.

The government will transfer the ownership rights to the Prime Minister's Office.

Emissions reduction in industry plays a significant role in achieving Finland's carbon neutrality target.

SSAB's steel plant in Raahe, northwestern Finland, was regarded as the largest source of industrial carbon dioxide emissions in the country. The plant's annual CO2 emissions were estimated at 4 million tonnes.

SSAB is the one of the world’s leading companies to develop the production of carbon-free steel. The transition of the Raahe steel plant to carbon-free production will enable Finland’s largest individual source of carbon dioxide emissions (4 million tonnes/year) to be replaced with a climate-neutral solution and promote the use of carbon-free steel also globally.

The strategic interest serves to impact the rapid implementation of the company’s low-carbon strategy and, more broadly, the development of the sector’s competence base in Finland.

“In line with the Government Programme, state ownership will pursue a long-term, dynamic ownership policy that safeguards the State’s strategic interests. The decision to transfer the State’s SSAB shares from Solidium to direct ownership under the Prime Minister’s Office contributes to the goal of transitioning to a carbon-neutral society. In line with the strategic interest defined by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Finnish Government is willing to accelerate the SSAB transition towards fossil-free steel production in cooperation with the company’s Swedish owners. We will do this by means of active and responsible ownership,” Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen said.

SSAB produces specialty steel. In 2020, the company’s turnover was EUR 6.5 billion and the number of personnel approximately 14,000. Solidium is the third largest shareholder of the company with a 6.3 per cent stake of the shares and 8.0 per cent of the voting rights. SSAB’s Finnish production plants are located in Raahe and Hämeenlinna. The company’s shares have been listed on the Stockholm and Helsinki stock exchanges.