The current trend in reducing carbon dioxide emissions in ferrous metallurgy will become clear with the transition from blast furnace production to the metallisation process in steel production, and with the use of direct reduced iron (DRI) and hot briquetted iron (HBI), says iron-ore and HBI producer and supplier Metalloinvest.
Metalloinvest CEO Nazim Efendiev says metallurgy accounts for almost a tenth of global emissions and, as climate change is a significant threat, it is imperative that the industry reduce its carbon footprint.
The Russian mining and metallurgy company is a global producer of DRI and HBI, the use of which reduces direct greenhouse-gas emissions in steelmaking by 60%, compared with the traditional blast furnace-converter process.
By completing planned upgrades to its production facilities, Metalloinvest expects to be able to reduce its direct (Scope 1) and indirect energy emissions (Scope 2) by 6% by 2025, compared with 2019.
The company targets a 77% reduction in its own emissions by 2035, which can be achieved by switching to the low-carbon production of DRI; optimising coke, agglomerate and cast iron production; and subsequently using clean hydrogen to power its facilities.
Metalloinvest thereafter aims to become carbon-neutral by 2050 after completing its transition to clean hydrogen in its production processes, boosting energy efficiency and introducing the use of hydrogen in stationary and mobile combustion.
Together with other Russian and international companies, Metalloinvest is assessing potential technologies to produce pure hydrogen and use it to substitute natural gas consumption.
Currently, the company has the capacity to use up to 30% hydrogen as a reducing gas in its existing metallisation plants.
The company plans to launch a new HBI plant called Mikhailovsky in 2024. The facility is being designed with the prospect of a full transition to the use of hydrogen.
Meanwhile, Metalloinvest is focused on joint programmes with colleges and universities to maintain its leadership in the industry.
The company runs a programme on reserve staff training and a corporate university, while also incentivising growth initiatives.
Simultaneously, Metalloinvest executives believe the future of the business depends not only on the company’s social security package but also on people’s health, a safe environment, a developed economy and the social system in the cities where the company operates.
Apart from taxes and payments into the Russian State budget last year, the company contributed more than ₽7-billion to healthcare, the development of municipal infrastructure, education and sports and culture initiatives.
“People still perceive metallurgy as a dangerous and dirty industry and, unless the industry pursues solutions across environment, social and governance factors, the perception will remain negative,” says Efendiev.