Our members have been making major announcements on breakthrough technology investment and planning using 2050 as the common target date. This has thrown a spotlight on the next 30 years.
What is the steel industry planning to do between now and then?
The membership of the World Steel Association (worldsteel), which represents more than 80% of global steel production, continues to find ways to drive efficiency in energy use and product design.
On the road to the arrival of breakthrough technology, short and medium-term process efficiency gains will provide important benefits to tackle climate change.
Recently our members have agreed to join a new industry wide drive named step up. This multistep process covering raw materials, energy input, yield and maintenance can bring a mill operation up to the same efficiency levels as the steel industry top performers.
A 4-stage efficiency review process has been devised, based on leading practice, for all mill operators to follow, covering the following areas:
- Optimal raw materials selection and use:
The quality of iron ore and coking coal has a direct impact on energy intensity and CO2 emissions. Measures, such as beneficiation of ore and coal at the source, switching to carbon-lean or hydrogen containing fuels, and increasing scrap use in the basic oxygen furnace are just a few of the measures that can significantly improve operational performance.
- Energy efficiency and minimising waste:
Energy efficiency is a crucial component of resource efficiency and there are several tested and proven improvement measures available: heat or energy recovery from solid and gas streams, coke dry-quenching, cogeneration units, electricity savings (aiming toward self-sufficiency), and many more.
- Improving yield:
Improving yield leads to increased output from the steelmaking processes. It is directly linked to a reduction in energy intensity and raw material use.
- Process reliability:
Improving a steelmaking plant’s maintenance ensures process reliability, which reduces losses in quality and process time, thereby reducing energy use per tonne of steel.
The efficiency review process based on leading practise is open to worldsteel’s membership. The programme will be tested across 9 sites in 2019 and then rolled out much more widely through 2020-2025.
We are inviting all our members to take part in this programme and expect a high level of participation across all regions. A progress review will be provided in the course of 2020-2021.