Lead Forensics

Steel producers transitioning to green steel

According to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEFFA), in the second half of 2022, several European steelmakers have transitioned from pilot green steel projects to investing in the construction of commercial-scale green steel plants which will be operational in three to four years. Steelmakers in Australia and Canada are also committed to green steel.

Demand for steel is high. For example, a warehouse equipment manufacturer requires a plentiful supply of tubular steel to make material handling and storage equipment. Amongst the many benefits of steel are that it is lightweight, strong, and cost-effective. The problem with steel is that traditional steelmaking burns a lot of coke, which emits carbon that contribute to climate change.

UK steelmakers also want to move towards green steel and are asking for government support to use low-carbon steelmaking processes. The Climate Change Committee, which independently advises the government, wants the UK steel industry to achieve near zero carbon emissions by 2035, and zero emissions by 2050

The UK government has recently approved the development of a new coal mine in Cumbria that will produce coking coal for steel manufacturers. Simon Nicholas of the IEFFA questions whether this is a good decision in light of steelmakers transitioning to green steelmaking that does not require coke. He writes:

”If the government moves to support the steel sector’s transition away from coal – as Europe is already doing – then approval for the new coal mine makes even less sense.”

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