Supporting the transition towards a carbon-neutral economy
As an energy and carbon-intensive industry, we are part of the solution, but at the same time, we have a responsibility to address the impact of our own operations.
The membership of 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 climate change benefits.
In 2019, the worldsteel Board of Members agreed to a new industry-wide drive named Step Up.
This multistep process covering raw materials, energy input, yield and maintenance can be used to support improvements in mill operations to efficiency levels commensurate with the steel industry’s top performers.
worldsteel has developed a 4-stage efficiency review process, based on leading practices, for all mill operators to follow. This is being supported by a specialist team of advisors available to all members.
The programme will be tested across 5 mills in 2019 and then rolled out much more widely through 2020-2025.
For the long-term, the steel industry continues to work in partnership with governments, investing in major programmes of research and development to invent radical new steelmaking technologies.
Step Up: A four-stage efficiency methodology
1. 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
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.