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  • Sustainable in every sense

    Building the leading European steel business that is sustainable in every sense.

    There are many challenges facing the world today. Climate change, food and water scarcity, the management of finite, non-renewable resources, repairing the damage made by human activity on ecosystems; and safeguarding people’s health, safety and equal opportunities.

    At Tata Steel, we understand that we must meet the expectations of all our stakeholders and make a positive contribution to the sustainable development of the global community. We can and must play an important part in addressing these sustainability challenges, both through our products & services and in our operations.

    Tata Steel embraces innovation and new technologies to develop high quality products and services that help our customers succeed in their markets. We work closely together with our customers to meet the sustainability requirements of their customers. This includes lowering greenhouse gas emissions over the full life cycle of steel products, for example through light weighting via advanced high strength steels. We also continuously improve our production processes and efficiencies. Today, we are amongst the leaders in the industry in low CO2 steel making.

    The expectations of our stakeholders are changing fast. The Paris Agreement is driving CO2 reductions globally and the European Union (EU) is targeting to cut its emissions to 80% - 95% below 1990 levels by 2050. The EU also clearly expresses its ambition for a circular economy in which nothing goes to waste. According to the EU, a circular economy would not only reduce pressure on the environment. It would also enhance security of supply of raw materials and lead to economic growth and jobs as it drives competitiveness and innovation.

    In response to these expectations, Tata Steel is committed to continue to develop new and relevant steel products & services that enable responsible consumption and minimise the impact on the environment. And we have a long term ambition to integrate our products, by-products and our business into the circular economy, and reduce our CO2 emissions in line with the ambitions of the EU.

     

    The need for CO2 reduction and circularity presents a huge opportunity for steel

    Apart from being essential to modern society, steel is sustainable because it is a permanent material. Steel represents a long term investment that does not go to waste. Products made of steel can last a lifetime after which they can be remanufactured or the steel can be recycled back to its original quality. This explains why steel products offer excellent CO2 efficiency over their life cycle and why steel is the most recycled material in the world.

     

    For steel making, the need for CO2 reduction and circular economy requires us to innovate

    Tata Steel is already playing in the premier league of the World’s best steelmakers for nearly 100 years and is a leader in CO2 low steel making. During the last 30 years we have reduced our CO2 emissions per tonne by about 20% and today we are reaching the limits of what is possible through our conventional blast furnaces.

    A further step-change in emissions can only be achieved through a completely new technological path for the production of steel, away from the blast furnace route.

     

    HIsarna: Pivotal technology to deliver our ambition for a low carbon and circular economy

    HIsarna is a completely new technology for producing steel. It consists of a reactor in which iron ore is injected at the top. The ore is liquefied in a high-temperature cyclone and drips to the bottom of the reactor where powder coal is injected. The powder coal reacts with the molten ore to produce liquid iron that is the base material to produce high quality steel. The gases that leave the HIsarna reactor are concentrated CO2.

    The technology removes a number of pre-processing steps and requires less stringent conditions on the quality of the raw materials used. This results in enormous efficiency gains. It reduces energy use and CO2 emissions by 20% and reduces the emissions of fine particles, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide with between 60 to 80%.

    Since the HIsarna installation produces highly concentrated CO2, it is ideally suited for carbon capture and either storage (CCS) or use (CCU), without the need for a costly gas separation stage. The combination of HIsarna with storage could lead to a total CO2 saving of 80% from the steel production process.

    HIsarna is expected to play a pivotal role to meet the future recycling ambitions of the circular economy. Not only do we expect to be able to combine primary steelmaking with recycling of up to 50% steel scrap, which is twice the present theoretical maximum of the Blast Furnace –Basic Oxygen Steel plant route. HIsarna also allows the recovery of zinc from coated steel scrap.

     

    From a manufacturing to a preservation industry

    HIsarna is a very promising technology which we have been testing in a purpose-built pilot plant for a number of years, supported by the EU and Dutch governments as well as a number of other steel companies and universities. We are about to start a final testing phase at the plant, after which we will look at scaling it up for commercial-scale production.

    With HIsarna Tata Steel innovates to ensure a strong manufacturing industry for the future, one that preserves value and reduces its emissions in line with the ambitions of society. We innovate with a purpose as we are committed to improving the quality of life of the communities we serve.