Steel News

Who Needs Green Steel? Depends on What You’re Making. 

5/8/2024 - North American producers are investing heavily to produce green steel for markets that presumably want it. Only question is, do they want it now, or later?

Well, that depends, industry executives said Wednesday during the annual AISTech Town Hall Forum. A signature event of AISTech, the Town Hall Forum brings together industry leaders for an informal conversation about steel’s trajectory. 

On the panel this year were Daniel R. Brown, senior vice president of advanced technology steelmaking and chief operating officer, Big River Steel; Wendell Carter, executive vice president, technology, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.; Christopher A. Graham, senior vice president, flat roll steel group, Steel Dynamics Inc.; Prasanna Joshi, vice president, low carbon solutions technology, ExxonMobil; and Dave Sumoski, chief operating officer, Nucor Corp. 

Brown told Town Hall Forum attendees that Big River customers across its markets are asking for green steel.  

“I would tell you, 100%, it’s a customer requirement. We have five or six different customers in our plant every week and – it’s not even three out of six or four out of six – it’s 100% of the time that customers demand sustainable steel,” he said. “It’s across all markets. That’s the expectation from customers going forward.” 

Sumoski said Nucor sees demand for green steel is coming from automotive, but it is also now beginning to field requests from the consumer appliance sector. 

“Our customers’ customers are asking for it,” he said. 

However, Graham said Steel Dynamics has yet to see demand in the construction market comparable to automotive.  

“That doesn’t mean that demand is not coming, but we don’t we see the construction side demand yet at the rate of other sectors.” 

And Carter said that in Cleveland-Cliffs’ view, green steel so far is an automotive product. 

“The automotive group is the gorilla for green steel. They are the ones requiring it.” 

Still, Carter said the true worldwide demand picture for green steel isn’t yet clear to him. 

“It’s a little bit of a conundrum for me. If there was such a demand for green steel around the world, why are (U.S. producers) not exporting more? We should be in a position to not just export to Canada and Mexico; we should be able to go to where people are saying they want this product, and that should be Europe and other places because we beat them by a whole heck of a lot in our carbon intensity.”

AISTech 2024 officially concludes Thursday.