Steel News

U.K. Establishes Funds to Support Steel Decarbonization

8/29/2019 - The U.K. government is allocating GBP350 million (US$426.9 million) to two funds that will support efforts to decarbonize its steel industry and scale up production of hydrogen.

“Moving to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for the U.K. requires transformation across all sectors of the economy and unprecedented levels of investment in green and low-carbon technologies. This transition can transform existing industries and provide opportunities for new ones,” the U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said in a call for public comment on the funds.

“Steel is a strategically important industry for the UK and can be an important part of our clean growth story,” it added.
According to the department, the country’s two integrated steelworks in Scunthorpe and Port Talbot are its two largest sources of industry carbon emissions.  Overall, the country’s steel sector accounts for 15% of its carbon emissions.

“To achieve net-zero, emissions will need to be reduced as much as possible across all sectors of the economy, including steel. Tackling industrial emissions would also lead to improvements in air quality with associated benefits for public health and the environment,” it said.  

The broader EU steel industry is actively exploring the use of hydrogen as an ironmaking reductant as a way to lower carbon emissions. The technology already exists, but the roadblock is to develop a way to produce hydrogen economically, and to do so on a carbon-free basis.

BloombergNEF, Bloomberg’s primary research service, said in a new report that hydrogen technology will be competitive with coking coal when the cost of renewable hydrogen drops to under US$2.20/kg, assuming coking coal prices of US$310/ton.