13 November 2023
Corporate News

Reuters: The steel industry goes electric

Pete Quinn talks to Elena Casa from Reuters on the Blast Furnace casthouse floor

Reuters' Elena Casas recently visited Tata Steel's Port Talbot steelworks to talk to Director Sustainability and Environment, Pete Quinn, about the company's plans to move from blast furnace based steelmaking to electric arc furnace technology on its journey to decarbonisation.

Pete explained: “The basic principle of Electric Arc Furnace steelmaking is to melt steel scrap with electricity - the real advantage of the process we’re proposing to put in is that it is far more carbon efficient.

"We think decarbonisation is absolutely imperative and we need to do it quickly and the good news is that we have a proposal under which it will happen quickly.”

“Increasingly the competition between steelmakers will be characterised by which company can make low CO2 steel before the rest. We are really excited to be in the vanguard of that with a funded proposal.

"If we can get this in place, a huge number of our customers will be delighted. They want to do business with a company that can provide them with low CO2 steel. 

“Not only that but it is becoming increasingly costly from a compliance perspective because of the emissions trading scheme to emit large tonnages of CO2."

Reuters host, Elena Casas, said that without that investment Tata warned that the British steel industry might not have a future at all.

"The lions’ share of global steel is produced in China but Western countries are keen to safeguard their own industries, not only for national security reason, but  because the transition to green energy will require huge amounts of steel." 

Pete added: “If we think about all of the things that need to be done to achieve a net zero society, all of them require steel. A very obvious example of that is electricity generation with renewables.”

Elena continued: “The company has looked at other solutions including carbon capture but concluded there is no alternative to decarbonisation.”

Pete replied:  “Society expects it. We need to get to a point where we don’t emit CO2. It’s becoming unacceptable for a progressive responsible company to be a big emitter of CO2.

"We think decarbonisation is absolutely imperative and we need to do it quickly and the good news is that we have a proposal under which it will happen quickly.”

You can watch the whole film here:

 

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For more information and resources, please visit Green Steel Future | Tata Steel UK (tatasteeleurope.com)

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