'Very real risk' NZ Steel could be forced to pull out of Auckland

NZ Steel has told MPs it may be forced to close with the loss of thousands of jobs if changes aren't made to the Climate Change Response Bill which is being considered by Parliament.

The proposed law change, commonly known as the "Zero Carbon Bill", aims to ensure "net zero" emissions for most greenhouse gases by 2050.

NZ Steel's New Zealand holding company Tasman Steel reported a 40 per cent increase in its net profit to $74m in the year to June, despite a 2 per cent drop in sales to $880m.

But NZ Steel said in a submission to Parliament's Environment select committee that by failing to adequately recognise the issue of "competitiveness", the legislation could kill the industry.

"There is a very real prospect ... we may set up policy decisions that could result in the closure of steel-making in New Zealand," it warned.

The company employs more than 1400 staff at its steel mill in Glenbrook and at Pacific Steel in Otahuhu in South Auckland, and estimated it provided work indirectly for another 2500 people.

The Glenbrook mill consumes about 800,000 tonnes of coal to manufacture about 650,000 tonnes of steel each year, mostly for domestic use.

"The Glenbrook community is built around the mill. It cannot be overstated what the closure will mean to our community," NZ Steel said in its submission.

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